Investiture Procession
May 09, 2022

Invested

Nearly two years into Kington’s tenure, the gavel is passed

Drumline, student vocalists, jazz musicians, and dancers brought a contemporary vibe to a traditional ceremony held only a handful of times in the history of Phillips Academy. May 7 marked the investiture of Raynard S. Kington MD, PhD, P’24. Against a backdrop of international flags framing the Greener Quad, Andover officially installed its 16th head of school—nearly two years after he began his tenure. In a ceremony long delayed by the pandemic, Kington officially took his place at Andover’s helm.

The head of school’s remarks focused on the perilous times we face, and the world in which Andover students must be prepared to lead and serve.

“There is no doubt that we have made incredible progress over the history of this school. That progress is a testament to the faculty’s devotion to Andover’s mission and their willingness to remain nimble, themselves being students of the craft of teaching,” said Kington. “It is also a testament to those who came before me and ably led this school during rewarding and challenging times. Just think about recent history and the nearly 25 years of leadership between Barbara Landis Chase and John Palfrey [1994–2019]. You quickly understand what is necessary to keep pace and evolve with the times. All this to meet our mission in service of students.”

History in the Making

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Processing up the vista

Student Co-Presidents Sean Meng ’22 and Mary Muromcew ’22

Head of School Raynard Kington and Board President Amy Falls ’82, P’19, ’22

Assistant Head of School for Admission and Financial Aid Jim Ventre ’79 and Raynard Kington

Raynard Kington

Fidelio performs

Attendees on the Richard T. Greener Quadrangle

(L-R) Nancy Sizer, Raynard Kington, and 14th Head of School Barbara Landis Chase

Expressing optimism, Kington concluded his remarks by quoting The Fire Next Time by one of his heroes, James Baldwin:

It began to seem that one would have to hold in the mind forever two ideas which seemed to be in opposition. The first idea was acceptance, the acceptance, totally without rancor, of life as it is, and men as they are: in the light of this idea, it goes without saying that injustice is a commonplace. But this did not mean that one could be complacent, for the second idea was of equal power: that one must never, in one’s own life, accept these injustices as commonplace but must fight them with all one’s strength. This fight begins, however, in the heart and it now had been laid to my charge to keep my own heart free of hatred and despair.

“Great schools exist at the intersection Baldwin described so eloquently, at that point of tension,” Kington continued, “the intersection of helping our students to understand the world as it is with all of its flaws, with ideas that make us uncomfortable and sometimes with painful knowledge that can even tempt us to hate and despair, while empowering students with hope grounded in knowledge, with the intellectual tools…to change what is wrong with our beautiful, broken world.”

Trustee President Amy Falls ’82, P’19, ’21, expressed confidence in Kington’s leadership, as she issued the formal charge on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

“We celebrate today the newest chapter in Phillips Academy’s striving history,” she said, “and we thank Raynard and his family for the service already done and for the years yet to come.

“It is, therefore, with distinct pleasure, that on behalf of the Board of Trustees, and by virtue of the authority vested in the Board of Trustees by the Constitution of Phillips Academy, and by the Act of Incorporation granted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I hereby declare you, Raynard Kington, the Head of School of Phillips Academy.”

Photos by John Gillooly

Categories: Leadership

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