The Pennington School kicked off the celebration of its 175th anniversary with a day of festivities for alumni and current families on May 18.
Former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean gave the keynote address. Kean’s speech was followed by a symposium led by several notable alumni speakers, including former U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz and Emmy-winning playwright William Mastrosimone.
After an introduction by Head of School Stephanie G. Townsend, Kean, who is also the former president of Drew University, spoke to the audience about the value of education as exemplified by The Pennington School. During his talk, Kean made frequent references to the school’s long history of excellence in education, as well as to many current events at the school.
Kean answered questions from students about politics, education and one of his former students: Pennington’s dean of students, Chad Bridges, who studied state politics in a course Kean taught at Drew. Kean was presented with special gifts from middle school students and from Penny Townsend.
Following the morning symposium, an all-School luncheon was held under a tent on O’Hanlon Green.
Board of Trustees chair Peter J. Tucci presented the Order of the Tower, the School’s highest award, to two distinguished alumni; John Biddiscombe, Class of 1963, and Georgia Manukas, Class of 1985.
Biddiscombe is the former director of athletics at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and an active member of NCAA governance.
Manukas, a Robbinsville native, is a producer and director of television programs for various networks including National Geographic, A & E and PBS.
Alumni from all over the country returned to join current students and their families in the celebration on campus, which combined the anniversary with the annual Alumni Day.
A memorial service for members of the school community began the day at Pennington Methodist Church.
The Silva Gallery of Art brimmed with work by current students during a special reception right after lunch.
The afternoon brought traditional student-versus-alumni games in soccer, lacrosse, softball, baseball and water polo as well as a Shakespearean performance by members of the senior class, a music jam involving alumni and students, and a tribute to this year’s swim team and new school record holders.
More information is online at pennington.org.