TH E TWO DECADES between 1919 and 1939 marked the emergence of the modern Phillips Academy. Within two years after saving the world for democracy, the United States, disillusioned with the war and its political aftermath, turned its back on the system of collective security which it had spawned and turned with a vengeance to the full enjoyment of the pleasures afforded by unprecedented economic growth in this country, sometimes labelled the "Second Industrial Revolution." As a result of that growth, Andover, emerging as a national educational institution, prospered immensely during the golden decade of the twenties. By the time that the stock market crash of 1929 brought a traumatic halt to further business expansion, Phillips Academy had made eleven new major additions to its physical plant, had beautified its campus by placing new, and relocating old, buildings on sites which conformed to a prearranged geometric pattern, and had shifted the center of gravity and the administrative pulse of the school from the west to the east side of Main Street.(1) The Athletic Department shared in that spectacular expansion.
A young alumnus of the early 1920's would have been hard put to understand why the athletic facilities at his old school were inadequate, unless he had been a track man, a hockey player, or a baseballer. After all, since 1902 there had been constructed a completely modern gymnasium, a new playing field, and a swimming pool.(2) Furthermore, in 1912 the axis of the baseball field had been shifted from the southeast to the northwest corner of Brothers Field in order to eliminate the problem of the afternoon sun shining in the batters' eyes. Moreover, to accommodate that shift the football part of the playing field had been moved to the west. Both fields were re-leveled, drained, and resodded. Finally, back of home plate an "extensive and commodious" circular grand stand protected by wire netting had been erected. The entire project had cost $5,000.(3) Presumably, also, the track problem had been largely eliminated with the construction of the quarter-mile, six-lane running facility built in 1917 at an expense of $10,000. In 1919 the Trustees had advanced the Athletic Association the sum of $5,000 to erect a new wire fence around the new track field.(4) What more could the school possibly want for athletics!
The answer, obvious immediately to those who have attempted to cope with the capricious weather patterns of New England winters and early springs, was both a year-round indoor facility to accommodate winter track and early spring baseball and some kind of covered ice surface for hockey. As early as 1916 Dr. Page and Frank Quinby, then Secretary of the Alumni Fund, requested and received permission from the Trustees to solicit funds from the alumni body for the purpose of lifting the debts on the swimming pool and the new running track and for the erection of a baseball cage and two new hockey rinks.(5) Money for the last two projects was slow to accumulate, however, since the first responsibility of the Athletic Association was to eliminate the debt on the first two. Suddenly, however, in the fall of 1921, the Fates tragically intervened to make possible the acquisition of the cage facility. On 22 November George Bowen Case, Jr., P. A. 1922, died of peritonitis after an appendectomy. His father, George B., Sr., a classmate of Al Stearns, the philanthropist Thomas Cochran, and Jim Sawyer in 1890 at Andover, had been elected a charter trustee of the Academy the year before. Young George, entering the 9th grade in 1918, had become a student leader and in his first three years had won his "A" in baseball, soccer, and swimming; in addition, he was a member of the hockey squad. Principal Stearns' stirring eulogy paid tribute to the lost young life:
His school career was of that kind in which a headmaster finds his keenest delight and satisfaction. The school which beloved so dearly and which he served so loyally will not soon forget him .... That his Maker had found him fitted for larger work and a fuller and richer life is the conviction that cheers his many friends who share with his parents and family the sense of a personal and unmeasurable loss.(6)
At the Trustees' meeting in June 1922, the following letter, dated 12 June, and addressed to Dr. Alfred E. Stearns, was read by the Clerk:
Dear Dr. Stearns:
Mrs. Case and I have a yearning to build a memorial to George at Andover, the place he loved so much, something which will be useful and an aid to right thinking and working. George often spoke of the need of a baseball cage. We thought that a building constructed, not only for the training of baseball teams, but for use in all sorts of ways during the seasons of inclement weather, would be an appropriate memorial to him.
Accordingly, if this meets with the approval of the Trustees, we shall be glad to furnish the money for such a purpose, it being understood that this is a gift from our whole family. We request that the building be completed as promptly as possible, and that the cost of it shall not exceed $80,000.
(Signed) George B. Case
The Board voted gratefully to accept the offer of Mr. and Mrs. Case and instructed the Clerk to extend to the donors the appropriate thanks of the Trustees. The Board then suggested a possible location directly south and east of the dining hall (Bulfinch Hall).(7) Apparently there was some disagreement among the Trustees and the two architects, Guy Lowell and Frederick Law Olmsted, as to the proposed site. Olmsted, the landscape man, suggested that the blasting of rock ledge at the site would carry the cost estimates far over the proposed $80,000 for the construction of the building. Guy Lowell, the designer, objected on aesthetic grounds. The architecture of the cage would not conform to the Georgian style of Bulfinch Hall or the newly erected Memorial Tower. The dilemma was resolved at the fall meeting of the Trustees when a location was picked on the "east side of Highland Road and on the southwest corner of Brothers Field."(8) By October, the plans for the cage were accepted from the architect, and the builders were authorized to proceed.(9) The new facility was completed by June 1923. It was one of the first of its kind to be built in this country and indeed a magnificent structure. Standing sixty-seven feet high at the pinnacle, its glass roof sloped down to brick walls twenty feet high, which enclosed an area exactly one hundred and fifty feet square. Along the inside perimeter of the walls were two circular banked running tracks, a wooden one at ground level, and a dirt raceway at the lower level. The runners could be isolated from activity going on in the central arena by simply dropping heavy thread nets which were rigged along the huge parabolic steel beams which anchored the entire structure. Built to stand almost forever, the Cage, aside from its value to generations of Andover athletes, has since served so many other purposes that one wonders what the school would have done without it.
At the dedication ceremony, held in the Cage at commencement, Thomas Cochran, newly-elected trustee, in the absence of classmate and Trustee George B. Case, officially turned over the new building to classmate, Headmaster, and Trustee Alfred E. Stearns:
Therefore, in the name of his father, his mother, his sister, and his brother, I turn this building over to the Trustees of Phillips Academy to serve as a memorial to George B. Case, Jr., a boy who loved his school.(10)
The location of the new Cage posed a problem for the Athletic Department. The football field would now have to be moved one hundred yards to the east on Brothers Field, thereupon encroaching on the infield of the baseball diamond, which then would be turned into an uneven cow pasture every fall. At Director Page's request, the Trustees, early in 1924, voted that a further careful re-study of Brothers Field be made with a view of ascertaining a satisfactory layout of the new football field for next fall's Exeter game.(11) Early that spring they authorized the Treasurer to borrow $28,000 for wooden grandstands on Brothers Field with instructions that the charge for seats in the new stands be fixed at a sum sufficient to insure their amortization.(12) Miraculously, it seemed, the new football field was built and ready for use within one year. Located on a high plateau south and east of the Borden Gymnasium, crowned in the center and beautifully drained, the upper Brothers Field remained a model for athletic playing fields for years thereafter. The new wooden stands could accommodate 7,200 spectators, and the addition of temporary end-zone stands would bring the total to 10,000 people. The Bulletin's description was somewhat whimsical. The field runs north and south, but they had it running east and west "so that the sun will seldom shine in a player's eyes." And the thousands of Phillips Academy hopefuls who have since trudged up the hill from the gymnasium area will be somewhat nonplussed to learn that the distance from one to the other was only one hundred yards.(13) On 15 October 1924, a significant day in Andover football history, the new field was dedicated with a 13-0 victory over the Harvard Freshmen, the unwilling victims of a "ceremony which christened one of the most beautifully equipped and most beautifully situated fields that any school can boast. "(14)
Dr. Page's plans for the expansion of the athletic plant did not stop with that latest addition. Tennis, one of the oldest competitive sports on the campus and very popular with many students every year both in the fall and spring, was in serious trouble in the spring of 1920. The weather had been wet and cold, knocking out many of the matches and making maintenance of the nine dirt courts behind Adams and Bishop Halls extremely difficult. Moreover, since it was highly probable that the new building program would eventually utilize that area for new dormitory construction, tennis might soon be without a home. Headmaster Stearns, the school tennis champion in 1890, and his right-hand man, Treasurer Jim Sawyer, stepped into the breach to forestall that eventuality. They proposed to the Trustees in the October meeting in 1921 that there existed the possibility of securing for athletic purposes the land adjoining Brothers Field and now included in the so-called Pearson Farm. The Board voted in the proposal at a price of purchase not to exceed $35,000.(15) By the spring of 1924 five new tennis courts had been constructed in the area just east of the Cage, west of the track, and north of the new Brothers Field. Ten years later, the foresight of the Trustees was validated when, at her death in 1934, Mrs. Fannie R. Dennis left Phillips Academy approximately $300,000, part of it to be used to build a dormitory to be known as the James S. Rockwell Memorial, named after her father, once a student at the Academy.(16) Since the proposed site of the new dormitory would eliminate the five tennis courts then occupying the space, $7,800 was appropriated from the Dennis Fund to construct five new courts on Brothers Field.(17) The movement to shift the center of athletic activities to the southeast corner of the Phillips Academy campus continued unabated.
As the Andover building program mushroomed in the twenties and into the early thirties, so the clamor for more and better athletic facilities continued. With the wing added to Williams Hall in 1922 and the construction, in order, of Johnson Hall, Paul Revere Hall, and Rockwell House, the school population, by the mid-thirties, had increased by over one hundred students, thereby putting a real strain on the athletic plant both physically and financially. In 1923 the Trustees made an arrangement with Miss Hinchcliffe, who owned the property, to obtain the tract of land extending from the new football field south to Bancroft Road. At the same meeting the Treasurer was authorized to assume charge of the receipts and disbursements of all funds of the Athletic Association.(18) It was becoming increasingly evident that the old method of financing the athletic program solely through student subscriptions and gate receipts had become outmoded. (19)
In 1925 the Trustees subdivided themselves into three general committees: Finance; Buildings and Grounds, to include the athletic fields and the Gymnasium; Educational and Development Policy.(20) It was to the second of these committees of the Trustees that Dr. Page, in 1929, delivered the following report:
Six: No report of your Committee would be complete without definite reference to the athletic facilities of the School. In this department of the School's equipment there is ample room for improvement. Your committee expects to make a careful study of this situation and present a full report thereon at some future date. Briefly, it may now be stated that the present gymnasium is too small to serve adequately under present conditions. For years the floor of the gymnasium has been used for dances and other entertainments given by the Academy students. It should be considerably larger in order to accommodate, properly, the inevitable attendance at these functions. The locker-space in the gymnasium falls far short of what is necessary for the use of members of the School and, when visiting teams are in Andover, the Athletic Management is subject to great embarrassment in their effort to take care of them with hospitable comfort. This situation is duplicated in the case of showers, which should be substantially increased in number. While the swimming pool, attached to the Gymnasium, is fairly satisfactory, in size and equipment, no provision has ever been made to accommodate spectators on the occasion of swimming meets. This defect must be remedied. Some slight additions, repairs, and rearrangements could advantageously be made with respect to the baseball, track and football fields and, likewise, the Cage. But, in the main, these features of our athletic equipment are satisfactory. We are, however, lacking in a sufficient number of tennis courts. Also, indoor squash courts and a fine indoor hockey rink would constitute healthy contributions to the athletic life of the School. The subject of an accessible golf course is one for debate and discussion. A future report will deal with these items more specifically.(21)
The "cry from Macedonia" did not go unheeded. In October of that year the request for enlarging the facilities for dressing rooms and the like in the Gymnasium was referred to the Committee on Buildings and Grounds as an urgent matter "for the welfare of the boys and the discipline of the school."(22) The following June the Trustees authorized the expenditure of $10,000 for immediate repairs on locker rooms and toilets in the Gymnasium, the money to be taken our of capital if necessary. They also allocated to the Building and Grounds Committee the sum of $50,000 for extensions and improvements in the Gymnasium "if and when the needed money can be raised and on the general basis of the plans submitted by Mr. Buttimer."(23) On a more mundane level, the Trustees, in January, faced for the first time what would become the perennial difficulty of an adequate supply of hot water at the Gymnasium(24) and appropriated $800 to solve the immediate problem.
By this time it was clear that plans for the growth and development of the athletic program should be looked upon as an integral part of the proposed increase and improvement of the school plant. At the Trustees' meeting in April 1931 Chairman of the Board, James Hardy Ropes, and Committeeman, George Case, met with Headmaster Stearns and Charlie Forbes, representing the Faculty, to discuss the entire matter of improved athletic facilities and their projected costs. The financial projection, itemized, came to $680,000:
|Extension of Case Memorial Building||50,000|
|Fund for Gymnasium maintenance||50,000|
|Hockey rinks, enclosed or open||50,000|
|Grading of athletic fields||20,000|
|20 tennis courts||10,000|
|5 squash courts||50,000|
|Fund for athletic instruction, coaching, etc.||200,000 (25)|
The significance of the meeting, aside from the staggering sum which the discussion raised, was that it took place at all. For the past eighteen months the entire country had been immersed in the depths of the worst economic downslide in its history, and the school authorities were primarily occupied with the great duty of defense and preservation, otherwise known as playing it safe.(26) Yet, here were the same policymakers, completely unfazed, willing to look hard at the future of Phillips Academy and its athletics and prepared once again to make a substantial financial commitment to improve them. In 1936 Henry Hopper, the Comptroller of the Academy, traced in detail the material development of the school since 1900 and attributed its astonishing growth to the Trustees, past and present, who had been ever mindful of the hope of the founding fathers, "Earnestly wishing that this institution may grow and flourish; that the advantages may be extensive and lasting; that its usefulness may be so manifest as to lead the way to other establishments on the same principles.(27) In discussing the needs of the Academy, including money for new facilities in the Gymnasium and an endowment for the maintenance of athletics, Hopper quoted Professor James Hardy Ropes, a former long-time member of the Board of Trustees: "Phillips Academy must be continually making progress, and for this progress one necessity is money."(28)
Although the large sums necessary for another major upgrading of the athletic plant were not forthcoming until after World War II, appropriations for its upkeep were made as necessary. Between January of 1935 and April of 1937, sums totalling $11,300 were spent on such items as repairing the track bleachers, constructing temporary track facilities for 1936, purchasing a new chlorinator for the swimming pool, building five new tennis courts, and spending $1,500 for additional equipment in the Department of Athletics.(29) In June 1936 Headmaster Claude M. Fuess was authorized to secure, if possible, the sum of $100,000 for the construction of one wing of the proposed new gymnasium, to include space for at least three hundred lockers, squash and handball courts, rooms for boxing, fencing, and wrestling, and bathing facilities.(30) In the fall of that year the student body offered to undertake a campaign to raise funds for a new gymnasium, and Robert G. Jennings, P.A. 1899, offered a matching gift of $10,000 if the boys could raise that sum. The Trustees, however, were unanimous in their feeling that the project must necessarily be deferred to a later date.(31) Nothing daunted, the Headmaster presented to the Board the situation with regard to athletic facilities and the need of new hockey rinks.(32) That June, having secured estimates, the Headmaster reported that drawings were being made for a new gymnasium, "so that they would be available in case of the appearance of a possible donor.(33) None would be forthcoming, however, for another eleven years; during that time, world affairs and associated problems inevitably assumed a much higher priority with the Trustees of Phillips Academy. The new rink and the improvements on the Gymnasium would have to wait.
Another significant development with regard to athletics at Phillips Academy occurred in the late 1920's, when the Trustees finally, after many long years, assumed full financial responsibility for the program. Indeed, one of the incomprehensible phenomena in the history of the school had been the failure of the Board to do so much earlier. Simply stated, the Athletic Department, prior to 1929, derived income from two sources---student subscriptions and gate receipts, neither one highly predictable. As noted earlier, then, the success or failure of any sports offering in a given year was entirely dependent upon winning teams, which drew large crowds, and aroused student enthusiasm and consequent monetary support. Obviously, the financial organization of athletics heavily favored football and baseball, which attracted the large majority of outside spectators whose contributions largely supported the entire program. Operating expenses for each sport came from student subscriptions. Deficits in the athletic budget were made up largely by passing the hat at school assemblies. Despite hand-to-mouth, haphazard financing, the system had worked reasonably successfully up to that time, and the Trustees had been perfectly content to go along with student-faculty management of the finances under the aegis of Dr. Page, who had been chosen by them as far back as 1906 to be Chairman of the Academy Athletic Advisory Committee.(34)
Since early in the century the Trustees had made sporadic attempts to find a better solution to athletic financing. One recommendation, proposed several times by Dr. Page over the years, was to levy an athletic tax on all students---on one occasion $15 was the suggested amount. Though the Trustees did adopt such a tax for a short time in an effort to help finance the construction of the swimming pool, the levy was dropped once the pool had been completed, and the old system of depending on student contributions and gate receipts was reinstituted.(35) Now, in the late 1920's, the problem of financing the athletic program was at long last solved with the assumption by the Trustees of full responsibility for that program.
Another problem indirectly connected with athletic finances was the increased interest in schoolboy sports on the part of the public after the war. There can be no doubt that in the 1920's intercollegiate and secondary school athletics took on a new dimension. Like it or not, big time college sports programs and their interscholastic counterparts went into the entertainment business with a vengeance.(36) The climate of public opinion in the post-World War I era was ideally suited to accommodate pleasure and spectacle, to renounce emphatically the austerity and frustration of the war years. The growth of the automobile industry made it easier for spectators to come longer distances to see athletic contests. Just before the war, in the years between 1912 and 1917, parking in the vicinity of Brothers Field on the day of the Andover-Exeter football and baseball games was already becoming a problem, which was magnified in the twenties. With the advent of the radio and other improved communication facilities, sports events and their coverage became regional and national, rather than local. A mutually supportive liaison between the media and the athletic departments of educational institutions kept the interested American public constantly and completely informed of the results of athletic contests and the status of the current athletic heroes. These were the years of the racoon coat, the hip flask, and the flashy convertible or coupé. The badge of social respectability was easy to acquire by personal association with sports. One needed only to wear the proper uniform for the occasion and spend every Saturday afternoon cheering unrestrainedly for the school or college team of one's choice. Subway alumni were as heartily welcomed as bonafide graduates. Harvard and Yale had set the stage in the Northeast for the unprecedented growth of enthusiasm for college sports by building spacious outdoor arenas capable of seating tens of thousands of interested viewers. The mania swept the country, and from that day forward, particularly after the war, college athletics had entered the ranks of big business.
Andover and Exeter were inevitably caught up in the frenzied euphoria of the times. The traditional football game at Exeter in 1919 drew 7,500 spectators. The following year at Andover the crowd was estimated at 10,000 people. At the Exeter game on the new Brothers Field in 1924, there were 10,000 spectators. Furthermore, in order to conform to the Trustees' edict to amortize the cost of the new bleachers, the ticket price had been raised to $2 per person. Not to be outdone by her Massachusetts rival, Exeter, five years later in 1929, erected a stadium on Plimpton Field capable of accommodating comfortably 12,000 people. Built entirely of concrete, the new football and track arena surpassed any other schoolboy stadium in the country. And why should not Andover and Exeter deserve the best of facilities? After all, no other secondary schools in the country could boast of an attendance of twelve thousand at a game. The publications of both schools had long touted the football contest between them as "The Big Game," and any hapless student who failed to support the team by his presence and noisemaking was later subjected to the most vicious forms of ostracism by the more loyal members of the student body. Indeed, the 1920's spawned competitive cheerleading, which now has become an integral part of the spectacle associated with college and schoolboy contests in many sports.
For the Phillips Academy Athletic Department, sharply increased patronage at the gate was a mixed blessing. On the one hand it was comforting to be assured of taking in enough money to more than pay the bills, but the financial solvency of the Association generated constant pressure to expand the program by including more activities; the Athletic Director was on a treadmill which he was almost powerless to stop. In addition, more and more of his time was being spent on the financial aspects of the program, and the responsibility for the accounting of large sums of money was becoming burdensome. It was no longer possible for him to serve two masters effectively. In 1923 he brought the dilemma before the Trustees for the first time, and they then took the initial step of authorizing the Treasurer of the Academy to assume charge of the receipts and disbursements of all funds of the Athletic Association.(37) Nothing further was done, however, for a year until Trustee Case, in a letter to Treasurer Jim Sawyer, strongly urged the Board to conduct a thorough and modern audit of the school accounts in the hope that suggestions could thereby be made for simplifying the Treasurer's report and bringing it more nearly in line with modern methods of accounting and reporting.(38) Exactly one year later Treasurer Sawyer read a communication from Dr. Peirson S. Page requesting a different method from that then in use for distributing the income regularly received by the Athletic Association from athletic fees and gate receipts; whereupon the Board left the disposition of Dr. Page's request in the hands of the Principal and the Treasurer with the proviso that the new plan, if adopted, should apply to the current year only.(39)
Nevertheless, when Dr. Page presented his six-point program for additions to the Athletic Plant, as earlier noted, in January 1929, the Trustees, to implement that plan under the old system of athletic financing, would have been forced to advance the Athletic Association the sum of $680,000, a condition that neither the Board nor the Administration could accept.(40) The matter was referred back to the Finance Committee, for a later decision, at the April meeting of the Trustees.(41) In June the Board authorized the Treasurer to charge off the debt of the Athletic Association against the principal of the Cochran Fund; henceforth all appropriations for the athletic expenses of the school would be included in the annual budget, to be prepared for each sport by Peirson S. Page and the Comptroller of the Academy, then submitted to the Finance Committee. After many long years, athletics at Andover had achieved financial respectability, and, like other departments in the school, could now plan in advance its annual operating costs and tailor the program accordingly.
Other changes affecting the composition of the student body developed gradually after the turn of the century and came to fulfillment in the mid-thirties. These shifts in emphasis brought compensating program changes in both physical education and athletics at Phillips Academy. The first of these came about in the summer of 1910, when the school purchased from Professor Edward H. Williams, P.A. 1868, on most generous terms, his five-acre estate on Phillips Street, which embraced one large main residence and several smaller buildings.(42) For a long time it had been evident to the Trustees that one of the great needs of the school was a facility especially designed for the housing and care of the younger members of the student body, a small but important group. This need was widely recognized, with the result that alumni and friends hesitated to send younger brothers and sons to Andover, but chose instead to send them to smaller so-called "close" schools.(43) Consequently, the student body at Andover was top heavy, the large majority enrolling for the middle or the senior years. This meant an annual turnover disproportionate to the size of the school, which seriously impaired satisfactory school spirit. Principal Stearns, for one, had been extremely sensitive to the problem and had sought ways to build up the lower classes, confident that Phillips Academy would never achieve its full potential until it could count on a solid group coming up through the full four years of the course. He was strongly supported in this belief by his student council, who complained that proper school spirit did not exist because the majority of their classmates had not been at Andover long enough to grasp its significance.(44)
For him, then, the opening of Williams Hall marked the realization of a long-cherished dream. The special feature of the new arrangement was the care and supervision given to the boys who were assigned there. The resident instructor was allowed a short schedule of recitations so that he could devote much of his time to his charges. Boys whose study skills and habits needed development worked under the guidance of tutors. After the first year of operation, the dining facilities of the main residence were opened, and thenceforth meals were provided for the students.(45) While it took several years to convince prospective parents that the school was prepared to take proper care of their younger offspring, eventually the word spread that Williams Hall provided the atmosphere and surroundings best needed to start students successfully on their school careers at an earlier age. The result was an increasing number of candidates for the ninth grade; the size of this class steadily increased, and Phillips Academy was on its way to becoming a school with a predictable number of four-year students.(46)
Nevertheless, compared with the number of students in the three upper classes, the population of the youngest class, henceforth in Andover terminology to be called Juniors, remained relatively small for the next twenty-five years. The newly renovated Williams Hall accommodated a maximum of forty students. The Trustees added somewhat to this number by opening faculty houses to younger boarding students. These residences on Andover Hill formerly had been owned by the Theological Seminary. At the outset, the school rented several of these, and later, by the purchase of the Seminary property, others were secured for dormitory purposes. To each of these were assigned a married instructor and his wife, and in each house were billeted six to ten of the younger boys.(47) Housing limitations, therefore, continued to impose restrictions on the admission of ninth-grade boarding students, but the purchase of the Williams estate on Phillips Street enabled Phillips Academy to increase the size of the Junior class to one hundred and six in the fall of 1910, a striking gain over previous years. (48)
The final phase of the evolution of a substantial Junior class did not come about until 1935. In April of the previous year the school had realized the sum of $300,000 from the estate of the late Mrs. Fannie R. Dennis. By the terms of her will, Phillips Academy was given three-fourths of the residue of Mrs. Dennis' fortune, the money to be paid on the death of the testatrix's husband, who had passed away early in 1934. One of the conditions of the bequest was a proposed new dormitory, Rockwell House, to be named after her father, James S. Rockwell, a Phillips Academy alumnus.(49) The Trustees of Phillips Academy in April of that year voted to approve in general the construction of a new dormitory as a memorial to James S. Rockwell at the cost of approximately $130,000. At the same meeting they also approved the building of a new wing of the Isham Infirmary at a cost of $100,000 and an addition to the Gymnasium in an amount not exceeding $40,000. A special committee was appointed to carry out the building program planned from the funds of the Dennis gift.(50) The architectural firm of Perry, Shaw, and Hepburn was selected for the project, and ground was broken for the dormitory on 9 July 1934; the building was ready for occupancy in June 1935.(51)
The completion of Rockwell House sounded the death knell of the boarding house era of the school; it was regarded at that time as the "ne plus ultra" of modern dormitory construction.(52) Boys assigned to the building were Juniors older than their classmates housed in Williams Hall. They were given more freedom from supervision, presumably being more mature than the residents of Phillips Street, but were under closer surveillance than the members of the three upper classes. The major benefit in the administration of the school was that the new dormitory not only provided an excellent home for the older ninth graders, but it enabled the academy to withdraw nearly all boys from private rooming houses and most importantly, thereby, to have almost the entire student body in dormitories and houses supervised by teachers.(53) Statistically, the role of the junior Class at Andover has not much changed between 1935 and 1982. In the first year of the Rockwell House opening in 1935, the school admitted 104 first-year students. By 1941 the number had grown to 128, mostly boarding students.(54) Today, in 1981, there are 144 Juniors in a student body which has jumped from approximately 650 to 1,200 over the same span. Interestingly enough, however, only 90 of the present Juniors are boarding students. Almost 38 percent of the class are day students, and the youngest group represents only 11 percent of the entire student population.(55) Despite their small numbers the ninth graders add an important dimension to the school but do require special care and nurture, as was recognized by the administration of the school back in the 1930's.
Alfred E. Stearns had lived long enough to realize one of his most cherished ambitions for Phillips Academy---a student population composed of many more underclassmen than heretofore---but he was no longer the Headmaster in 1935, when Rockwell House first opened its doors to forty-four ninth graders whose care and guidance were the responsibility of Messrs. George G. Benedict and Roger W. Higgins, instructors in the English Department. In the fall of 1931, Dr. Stearns had been granted an extended leave of absence by the Board of Trustees because of serious illness. Failing to recover fully after an eighteen-month recuperative period, the beloved principal of thirty years submitted his resignation to the Trustees on 1 January 1933; it was accepted by them two weeks later, on the fifteenth.(56)
The resignation of Al Stearns was an event of national importance, evoking throughout the educational world mixed feelings of universal regret and general acclaim for his accomplishments. The Bulletin said it best:
The story of Dr. Stearns's life is the story of the modern Phillips Academy, with which his name will be forever associated. For thirty years he led this school in its unparalleled development, and for a quarter of a century he was a distinguished figure in secondary school education . . . . We can speak only of what "Al" Steams has meant personally to the hundreds of Andover men who have known him. His idealism, his unselfish devotion to duty, his good fellowship, and his rare spiritual qualities have won him the love and admiration of all who have come under his influence . . . . Promoting untiringly the highest standards of character and scholarship, he gained for himself---and for Andover---the respect of the whole country.(57)
The strength of the school which Cecil F. P. Bancroft and his successor, Alfred E. Stearns, had built over a half-century was put to the test in 1933. The year brought to Phillips Academy more than a full measure of sorrow. The Headmaster's resignation was followed shortly thereafter by the death of Dr. James Hardy Ropes, President of the Board of Trustees, and six weeks later, on 12 March, by that of Charles Henry Forbes, beloved classicist and Acting Headmaster.(58) The Academy community reacted admirably to the almost simultaneous losses of the three personalities most important to the administration of the school. Conscious that an unprecedented era in the development of Phillips Academy was drawing to a close, they looked to the future with the confidence derived in large part by the examples and high standards of those who had just died.(59) Within three months judge Elias Bishop, a graduate of the Academy in the class of 1889 and a Trustee since 1907, was elected President of the Board, and on 28 May Dr. Claude Moore Fuess, a popular English teacher since 1908 and the Phillips Academy historian, was appointed the tenth Headmaster of the school. Having been deeply involved in many aspects of school life and beloved by the alumni, Dr. Fuess was a very popular choice to succeed his friend and admired colleague, Al Stearns.(60) What could have been a traumatic transition for the school was accomplished smoothly without any visible psychic effect. One of the many important decisions the new Headmaster had to make concerned health and physical education at Andover. In the early years of the school what to do with and how to care for sick students was always a serious problem. The various administrations had to face a nightmare reaching alarming proportions when contagious diseases hit the campus. Before the gift of the Isham Infirmary in 1912, Headmaster Stearns and Doctor Page were at their wits' end to devise some proper means of caring for these unfortunate cases. The program generally followed called for Dr. Page, playing the dual role of Athletic Director and Medical Adviser, to check each morning after chapel exercises to determine what boys were missing, then visit each in turn in his room, reporting later to the Principal the full results of his investigation.(61) If the malady proved to be of the contagious variety such as scarlet fever, measles, mumps, or even the dreaded polio, the afflicted were farmed out to private homes in the town, where good samaritans like the Chandler sisters and a few others were willing to come to the rescue. If these were forced to refuse, the only other recourse was to leave the stricken youngster in his room and scatter the remaining inmates of the dormitory to other houses. In all these cases the school supplied nurses who worked under the supervision of one of the two local doctors.(62)
One of the peskiest sicknesses, regarded more as a nuisance than as a serious disease, was German measles. Occasionally, however, the number of cases reached epidemic proportions and caused no little worry. In one instance the number of cases which early appeared were enough to warrant lodging all the victims in Taylor Hall (now Pemberton). The responsibility for looking after the group was assigned to a scholarship boy who had once served as an apprentice nurse in his home-town hospital. But precisely when one batch of patients was ready to leave the improvised hospital, another group showed up suffering from the same illness. Apparently, among the boys in general, it was felt that the invalids were to be envied rather than pitied. They were excused from classes, were not supposed to strain their eyes in study, and spent most of their time playing cards. A goodly number of the less scholastically inclined had organized groups who periodically appeared in the evening twilight at the rear of the pest house, where the heads of the contaminated were projected from rear windows, cheek to cheek contact was made, and thereby the malady was transmitted to the newcomers. The epidemic ceased after a careful watch was placed on the building.(63)
In 1907 the Trustees assigned the old track house, then on the site of the present Adams Hall, for the care of contagious diseases. This building, which had been left behind when the new track had been moved to its present location, at least had showers, limited toilet facilities, and, after removing the lockers, floor space for a considerable number of cots. This flimsy shack served as the pest house for the next three years. With the acquisition of Williams Hall in 1910, the huge and commodious barn, which included comfortable quarters for the coachman and his family, was remodelled as the school infirmary. Its chief drawback, however, was its limited size. What there was was excellent, but it could not begin to accommodate all those who should have been placed there. Fortunately, for the two years that the barn and the present Junior House were used in the above capacity, the school was free of any widespread epidemics and did not seriously suffer.(64) The building of the Isham Infirmary in 1912, then, was a godsend to Drs. Stearns and Page, who had suffered so long with the primitive state of health-care facilities at Phillips Academy.
In 1934, nevertheless, the school was again hard pressed to provide proper medical services for a student body which had grown to 681 boys.(65) The Bulletin made a passing reference to the health record of the Academy as being uniformly excellent:
During the fall term this year the infirmary had no contagious diseases to report and no cases of illness when the Christmas vacation began. In fact, never has the school gone through a term with as little illness as this year .... While sending the compliments of the season to Lady Luck, we also pay genuine tribute to the unceasing zeal of the Physical Department in discovering illness early, in treating it with intelligence and care, and in building up the resistance of the student body against fatigue and the caprices of the New England climate.(66)
Dr. Fuess had shared the agony and anxiety of Stearns and Page through at least one polio epidemic, which could have seriously damaged the school had it not been for the facilities of the Isham Infirmary and the untiring efforts of the Harvard Paralysis Commission, who provided the spinal injections of a new serum which prevented serious permanent damage to seven afflicted students.(67) Certainly, then, he welcomed the decision of the Trustees in the spring of 1934 to allocate $100,000 from the Dennis bequest for a much needed addition to the Isham Infirmary. (68) The new wing, completed in 1935, was attached to the south side by a thirty-foot glassed-in construction. Each of the two floors contained a ward, a sun parlor, and ten rooms of two beds each, connected in pairs to a central bathroom. The basement housed a kitchen, maids rooms, laboratory, emergency operating room, and an X-ray room. The original structure was rearranged to accommodate the administration, with a doctor's room and reception room. The second floor included a large ward for convalescents and a recreation room. The nurses' quarters occupied the third floor. With the completion of the addition, Phillips Academy could boast of the most modern health-care facilities of any secondary school in the country.(69) Only one more step was necessary to make sure that they were utilized properly.
In the first full year of his administration, Dr. Fuess recognized that Peirson S. Page could no longer play the dual role of Athletic Director and Medical Advisor in any adequate manner. They both agreed that the enlarged infirmary---now almost a small hospital---had to be managed by a medical doctor who specialized in adolescent medicine. The school had outgrown the old system of ministration to ill students, and Dr. Page was not getting any younger. The new school doctor, who was hired in 1934 as assistant to the medical adviser, was James Roswell Gallagher. He had received his A.B. from Yale in 1925 and his M.D. from the Yale Medical School in 1930. From 1929 to 1930 he had interned at the New Haven Hospital and since 1932 had been the physician at the Hill School. While there he had served as the Assistant Physician at the Pennsylvania Hospital, and as Instructor in Cardiology at the Pennsylvania Graduate School of Medicine. For the next fifteen years the responsibility for the health care of the Phillips Academy students was to rest squarely on Dr. Gallagher's shoulders.(70) It was highly propitious and more than coincidence that his first major decision came in 1935 at the start of his second year at Andover, when he and Dr. Lloyd Aycock, head of the Harvard Commission of Infantile Paralysis, advised the administration to postpone the opening of school for two weeks as a protection against the epidemic of poliomyelitis, prevalent in certain sections of the country. It was felt that the danger of bringing boys together from all over the country warranted delaying the opening of school until the coming of the frosts around the first of October. Andover's action was followed by many other schools in the vicinity and met with the unanimous approval of the parents.(71)
The final link in the chain of events which changed somewhat the nature of the health and physical education process at Phillips Academy came in the fall of 1935, when Frank F. DiClemente was hired to serve as Instructor in Science and Assistant in the Physical Department. A graduate of Springfield College in the class of 1935, he had a broad background in athletics and physical education, particularly for adolescent boys. Besides instructing in Chemistry, he was to coach varsity basketball and do special work in the athletic curriculum of the Junior Class.(72) Phillips Academy now had developed the capability of tailoring its physical training and team sports to a physical coefficient, which included the age, height, weight, and strength of the individual. Within the next two years 'Deke," as he was fondly called, developed both an intramural and interscholastic competitive system for the Juniors by pitting Rockwell House against Williams Hall in various team sports, a process which inevitably led to the selection of separate junior groups or varsities who competed against outside opponents. The author, out of football because of an injury in the fall of 1936, vividly recalls the alternating frustrations and triumphs of trying to explain the rudiments of the game to the Williams Hall preps, most of whom were playing football for the first time. A student assistant in Deke's program, I found the experience both demanding and highly rewarding.
With the development of the junior athletic program, Andover had achieved the proper balance in its Health, Physical Education, and Recreation curriculum. The club program of intramural athletics had replaced the old class team system, which indiscriminately had set large against small, slow against fast, and thereby ruined the competition. The inter-club competition, on the other hand, fostered spirited rivalries among the Gauls, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Saxons, particularly in football, soccer, swimming, baseball, and track, where the club teams were feeders for the varsity teams in those particular sports. Every Wednesday afternoon witnessed some thrilling contests on the old campus, the west quadrangle, or the lower Brothers Field. Each student was proud of his club affiliation, and to win the Club Championship, based on all around performance throughout the year in a variety of competitions, was a highly coveted honor. Once a Saxon, always a Saxon.
Dr. Fuess, in his Commencement address in 1934 at the end of his first year as Headmaster, synopsized those changes which had taken place at Phillips Academy over twenty-five years and the results of those changes in terms of a modern Andover education. After mentioning Rockwell House and the addition to the infirmary, he specifically noted what Andover could offer its students, younger or older:
I wish to make it clear that the school is proud of its facilities for dealing with younger boys. Phillips Academy is now, and I trust always will be, a school distinguished for high scholastic standards, firm discipline, and rugged manhood; but it is prepared to take lads of thirteen and fourteen and watch over them until they can manage their own affairs . . . . No parent need hesitate at the present moment to send his thirteen-year-old son to Andover, if he is a boy of normal reactions, average intelligence, and social instinct.(73)
Earlier in his speech he had addressed the question of what students and their parents or friends might expect of a school like Phillips Academy:
First of all, you as relative or friend of some Andover boy, are entitled to assume that we are watching his physical well being,---that we are seeing to it that he is fully nourished, properly directed in his exercises and games, nursed when he is ill, and warned against debilitating habits. We should weigh him, advise him how to correct bodily deficiencies, try to show him how to become and remain healthy. We cannot be expected to turn him into a world champion, a Primo Camera, or a Bobby Jones; but very facility should be furnished to him if he displays talent as a halfback or shot-putter or third baseman. A school which does not have a modern infirmary, an adequate gymnasium, good coaches, and ample playing fields is not fair to its boys.(74)
Certainly in terms of material development and educational philosophy, the years between the two World Wars had been exceedingly productive ones for Phillips Academy and its athletic program.