The Pennington School welcomed students to its new Kenneth Kai Tai Yen Humanities Building on Tuesday, January 26, marking the first day of classes in the technologically advanced building. Dr. William S. Hawkey, headmaster, along with other School administrators, personally greeted students as they entered the building for the first time.
The Kenneth Kai Tai Yen Humanities Building provides almost 30,000 square feet of new classroom, faculty, and meeting space, all flooded with natural light. A two-story atrium, the Joseph L. and Marion M. Wesley Forum, offers a gathering space for larger meetings. The offices of Global Studies, Community Service, school Chaplain, College Guidance, and the Horizon senior internship program are all found within the new building, as well as the administration of the School’s renowned Cervone Center for Learning program.
Kenneth Kai Tai Yen is the chairman of the Yulon Group in Taiwan. The naming of such an important new building after one of Pennington’s most distinguished international graduates makes visible the School’s commitment to global understanding and interaction. Inside, students and faculty have inviting and comfortable spaces to work together, exploring the best that the world’s civilizations have to offer and gaining a deep appreciation of our common humanity.
Peter J. Tucci ’79, chair of Pennington’s Board of Trustees and the parent of two daughters in their senior year at Pennington, stated, “Ken’s gift for this new building is visionary and speaks volumes about Pennington’s commitment to global programs, the success of Pennington’s alumni throughout the world, and the importance of giving back. It is our hope that Ken’s generosity will inspire others to make a significant investment in Pennington’s future, in accordance with their means.”
The new Kenneth Kai Tai Yen Building is the largest component of an elaborate master plan that will transform the educational experience at The Pennington School. In addition to the newly-opened building, current construction plans include renovating the campus’s Stainton Hall to become a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) building; restoring Old Main as the historic center of the School, housing administrative offices for the headmaster, deans, and admission; re-engineering Meckler Library to better serve the changing needs of students; and reshaping campus access and driveways to create a pedestrian-only campus. The School’s ambitious five-year capital campaign, Building for the Future, has already far exceeded its initial goal of raising $10 million and is anticipating reaching its current goal of $20 million by 2018.
The Pennington School, founded in 1838, is an independent coeducational school for students in grades 6 through 12, in both day and boarding programs. The curriculum is college preparatory, with an emphasis on individual excellence, fostering the development of the whole student through academics, athletics, community service, and the creative and performing arts.