Cutting Edge Learning

Cutting Edge Learning

For over a decade, the Governor’s science department has been bringing its classes to the Great Salt Marsh to learn in one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world. Now, thanks to two forward-thinking gifts from members of the Class of 1967, we’ll go further. We’ll bring the Great Salt Marsh to our students and faculty members—and send them into the field to work with new partners and conduct new research.

On the northern edge of campus, on the banks of the Parker River, Governor’s plans to construct a state-of-the-art research facility, the Alfond Environmental Studies Center. The Bill ’67 and Joan Alfond Foundation led the way for this important project with a lead gift of $5 million. Designed in partnership with scientists from the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, the facility will include a wet lab fed by water drawn from the river, a workshop, classrooms, and accommodations for a scientist in residence. “Governor’s has always had a strong sense of place. This is a unique opportunity for the school to learn—and lead—where we live,” said Alfond.

Bob ’67 and Anne Bass share Bill and Joan’s vision for the impact of this unique facility on teaching and learning at the Academy. They made a $5 million leadership gift to establish the Bass Institute, which will serve as the intellectual center of environmental science teaching and research initiatives at the Academy, as well as a base for partnerships with research institutes and local agencies. “Our support for the campaign is motivated by my appreciation for what the Academy did for me, and for the difference, the school can make in the lives of others," said Bass. 

Together, the Alfond Center and the Bass Institute will serve as an example for innovative science education at the secondary school level. “This is truly a leadership moment for Govs,” said Emily Allen, Science Department Chair. “We can develop new classes and programs that allow students to get high-level, hands-on experience in the field. And we can apply what we’ve learned to other areas of the curriculum. In many ways, we can be a model for the future of education. I can’t wait to get to work.”