August 09, 2018

Campus quad to be named for Greener 1865

Scholar, lawyer, and advocate for racial equality forged many pathways
Richard Theodore Greener in 1865 as a 20-year old senior at Phillips Academy

Phillips Academy will honor the legacy of alumnus Richard T. Greener, a scholar and teacher, lawyer and diplomat, whose trailblazing work during the post-Civil War era touched the lives of faculty, students and statesmen, alike.

On Saturday, September 29, members of the campus and extended community are invited to join at the Great Quad for the dedication of its new name—the Richard T. Greener Quadrangle. The ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m.

Greener graduated from Andover in 1865 and became Harvard’s first African-American graduate in 1870. He went on to teach at the University of South Carolina where he broke ground as the school’s first black professor. A notable speaker and writer on racial equality, he also served as a dean at the Howard University School of Law.

Head of School John Palfrey extended his deepest gratitude to the anonymous donor who thoughtfully and generously made this naming possible. “His wish is that we mark the history of Andover’s connections with the African-American community and highlight our commitment to equity and inclusion,” said Palfrey.

With Samuel Phillips Hall rising above, the quad holds a special place in the hearts of Andover families. From student rallies, to reunion luncheons and commencement ceremonies, this gathering space stands out both for its natural beauty and historic significance. It is one of the school’s most cherished—and often photographed—areas of campus.

The Richard T. Greener Quadrangle will be dedicated on September 29

Richard T. Greener was an intellectual force and a visionary leader whose character continued to blossom during his time at Andover.

John Palfrey Head of School

Inspired by this extraordinary gift and the Knowledge & Goodness campaign, Palfrey announced that an additional gift will establish an endowed fund to advance equity and inclusion work in Greener’s name. “It is gratifying to know that our extended Andover community believes as deeply as we do in the importance of these initiatives that benefit both the adults and students on our campus.”

Richard T. Greener

During his year at Andover, Greener earned such respect among his peers and the faculty that he served as editor of the Philomathean Society’s literary magazine, The Mirror. The July 1865 edition bearing his name on the masthead features a front-page editorial mourning President Lincoln’s assassination that April.

Greener, center, with fellow members of the Class of 1865 at their 50th reunion in 1915.

Philanthropy in honor of Greener dates back to 1989 when a scholarship was established in his name. Supporting underrepresented students of color, the Richard T. Greener 1865 Endowed Scholarship has made a difference in the lives of more than a dozen Andover students spanning three decades.

Two of Andover’s Greener Scholars who went on to Harvard were present in spring 2016 when Harvard recognized Greener with a portrait. South Carolina followed last winter by unveiling a statue next to the library where he taught philosophy, Latin, Greek and law.

“Richard T. Greener was an intellectual force and a visionary leader whose character continued to blossom during his time at Andover,” Palfrey added. “We look forward to joining these universities by honoring his scholarly work and historic contributions in a visible and permanent way.”

Categories: Philanthropy

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