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Barbara L. Chase

Title: Head of School, Instructor in History and Social Science

Degrees Held:
A.B., History, Brown University
M.L.A., Johns Hopkins University

PA Start Date:
July 1, 1994

I received an A.B. in history from Brown University. My teaching career (at Moses Brown and the Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island) soon turned into a life in administration in independent schools. In 1980, following four years as Wheeler’s director of admissions, I became headmistress at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Maryland. Though interested in continuing my education, I did not feel I could step away from work, so I enrolled in the Master of Liberal Arts program (offered in the evenings and summers) at Johns Hopkins University and graduated in 1990. As the culmination of the degree, I wrote a thesis in U.S. History with Ronald G. Walters, a Hopkins historian, whose field was 19th century U.S. reform movements. From that time on, I have continued to read extensively in the field of antebellum reform and, in particular, abolitionism. In 1994, I became the head of school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Soon after my arrival, I was invited by the history department to become an instructor in the department and initially served briefly as a co-teacher in the United States history survey. In the early 1990s, I took a six-month sabbatical, and during that time, as a visiting scholar in the history department at U.C. Berkeley, I did independent research and planned a senior seminar (Abolitionism in Black and White). In addition to offering that seminar, I mentor individual seniors, who wish to undertake independent research in U.S. history.