January 29, 2019

The gift that left an English teacher speechless

$4 million campaign gift will endow Andover Bread Loaf program
by Tracy Sweet

Andover Bread Loaf
An extraordinary commitment of $4 million from Phillips Academy alumnus Keith Flaherty ’89 to Andover Bread Loaf (ABL) will secure the outreach program’s mission and allow future support to broaden and deepen its impact.

This landmark gift to Andover’s Knowledge & Goodness Campaign will ensure that youth across the Merrimack Valley and beyond will continue to have access to unmatched literacy and language arts instruction with teachers and mentors by their side to inspire creativity.

Affiliated with Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English and run by Phillips Academy, ABL was founded in 1987 by English teacher Lou Bernieri who continues to serve as director. Middlebury recognized his trailblazing work in 2016 with an honorary doctorate in humane letters.

My hope is that our collective support will spark further investments in this life-changing program.

Keith Flaherty ’89

Moved by Bernieri’s visionary leadership and the generosity of fellow ABL board members, Flaherty wanted to do his part for a program—and a teacher—that defined his Andover experience. “My roommate and I were among the first students Lou introduced to ABL just as he was getting it off the ground,” he said. “Lou’s teaching on social justice stuck with me and pulled me back to PA when I moved to Massachusetts nine years ago. Seeing the creative process light up young students in Lawrence inspired me to get more deeply involved with this extraordinary program.”

Lou Bernieri with ABL and Andover students at a writer's workshop in Lawrence, MA.

“There are certain relationships in our lives that are sacred, and the teacher-student relationship is one of those. I am blown away by this act of generosity,” said Bernieri. “I am speechless. And for an English teacher that says a lot.”

“When I learned that Mike Cahill ’84, John Henry Moulton ’88, and Sturgis Woodberry ’84 had established an initial ABL endowment, I felt compelled to do my part,” Flaherty continued. “My hope is that our collective support will spark further investments in this life-changing program.”

Head of School John Palfrey P’21 expressed his appreciation for the exceptional philanthropy and leadership legacy enjoyed by ABL. “What an historic moment for Andover Bread Loaf. As we look to expand our vital work for educational transformation, we are deeply grateful for your generosity,” he said. “People choose to be part of Andover for life because of our core values, such as non sibi and private school with a public purpose—and because we aspire to educate students beyond our own campus. I can think of no better tribute to Lou than this endowment, and no greater embodiment of these values than each of you.”

Categories: Philanthropy, Outreach, Campaign News

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