Pan Athletic Center pool rendering
April 14, 2022

Team Players

Former student-athletes set the pace for today’s competitors

Wheat germ, grueling workouts, and the sweet, chlorinated camaraderie of a medley relay. That’s what Chris “Topper” Lynn ’66 remembers from his time on the Andover swim team.

“I loved being in the pool with the guys,” says Lynn, a butterflier with the school’s nationally ranked foursome his senior year. “I just adored being in the water—and still do!”

Now, Lynn and other former student-athletes are paying tribute to their Big Blue sports experiences and forging new ones for today’s students with investments in the Pan Athletic Center, slated to open in fall 2022.

Lynn’s leadership gift will sponsor the 25-meter pool—engineered to expand in length when needed and flexibly accommodating either eight competition or 13 practice lanes.

“The kids there are still swimming in the same pool I used,” he says. “Nearly six decades later, Andover deserves better.”

Lynn is delighted that the Academy’s commitment to campus enhancements will not only provide students with the chance to achieve personal bests, but will also help them explore where they belong at the school—something that’s near to his heart.

“Being on the team was integral to my time at Andover,” he says. “It helped me find my identity, and I want to help do the same for future swimmers.”

The wrestling team will similarly benefit from the new Pan Athletic Center—and Larry Lawrence ’60 is among those fueling future growth. A New England wrestling champion his senior season, Lawrence is paying homage to the program with a generous gift supporting the team’s first-floor suite.

The expansive all-gender space includes a coach’s office; a warm-up, weigh-in, and training area; and competition space with spectator seating.

“Wrestling was a great foundational sport for me,” recalls Lawrence, “not only for the other sports I played, but more broadly for life beyond sports and beyond my time at Andover. Perseverance and being gracious in victory and resilient in defeat are the main lessons, and those have proved invaluable.”

Another reason to donate? “I’ve come to have a deeper appreciation of Andover’s place in the advancement of the sport. A lot of schools are cutting their programs,” explains Lawrence, “but PA remains a leader, especially for girls. Girls’ wrestling is actually one of the fastest growing sports in the country. On multiple levels, giving back is something that resonated with me.”

Lynn agrees. “I’m indebted to Andover for who I evolved to be, and swimming was an important part of that,” he says. “I can’t wait to come watch the kids dive in.”

Originally printed in The Vista: Views from the Knowledge & Goodness Campaign, fall 2021.

Categories: Campaign News

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