Monday, September 12, 2016

Proctor Academy

From Weirs' Beach, it was a short drive down to Andover, NH, where Proctor Academy is located. Proctor is a private boarding school, where Ellen's father went to high school, 1928-1932. Ellen had visited it once before, but that was years ago. I had never seen it, and was eager to do so. I had brought her father's 1932 Yearbook from Proctor as a reference.

Proctor Academy turned out to be quite the place! It is located in the center of the town of Andover, but has a 2500-acre campus, and is like a small college in appearance. It has 360 students, a 5-1 student-faculty ratio, and even has its own ski area. It has a very handsome campus, with a mix of older brick buildings and newer frame ones, white clapboard, very nicely laid out. They seem to be doing very well indeed. The students were away on a 5-day wilderness experience, but we talked with someone in alumni relations, got a campus map, some promotional materials, and enjoyed looking around. We located three buildings depicted in the 1932 Yearbook, and learned that a fourth, "Cary House," had burned down in 1977. Much of the present campus seems to have been built since 1932. 

Here are some scenes from Proctor Academy:

The Chapel - one of the buildings relatively unchanged from the 1930's. It also functions as the Unitarian-Universalist church for the local community

This building was brand new in 1932 - it was then called the Recitation Hall

Slocum Hall - another building relatively unchanged since the 1930's

A new building: The Meeting House - the entire student body gathers here twice a week. It has a large solar array on the roof

Also new: The Library (called "The Learning Center")

These seemed to be student residence halls

After Proctor, it was another short drive to Sunapee, NH, where "Aunt Hazel" is living in an assisted-living facility, Sunapee Cove. Aunt Hazel is the remarkable 108-year-old aunt of Maggie Hochburger, my brother Stewart's ex-wife.  We always stay at the home of Maggie and her husband, Jerry, when we visit my brother's family in Bartlett, Il, and we had met Aunt Hazel there a few years ago. She used to have a place in northern Wisconsin, but had to give up living alone. Her son, Robert, and his wife, live near Sunapee, NH, so she has settled there. We dropped in on her unannounced and had a nice visit with her. We learned that she had just recently celebrated her 108th birthday, and that when she woke up the morning of her birthday, and went out to go to breakfast, she was surprised to find the entire hallway to the dining-room festooned with 108 balloons, put there by the staff overnight!

Hazel Nilsson next to her birthday banner

Heading into the dining hall for supper

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