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Bar News - May 17, 2017

Morning Mail: Thank-You from the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program

Sixty years ago, St. Paul’s School founded the Advanced Studies Program (ASP) to provide rigorous, college-level coursework during the summer for New Hampshire public and parochial high school students. In the shadow of the Soviet Union’s successful Sputnik satellite, the nation felt it had a deficit of science, math, and language education and St. Paul’s, a nationally renowned private school in Concord, sought to remedy this.

Today, 265 rising seniors still cram a year’s worth of collegiate-level coursework into five-and-a-half weeks each summer. Courses now include subjects such as entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence, biomedical ethics, marine biology, engineering, law and government, sustenance and sustainability, and mass media. The students hail from Salem to Colebrook. More than 12,000 students have attended since the program’s founding.

Because of the generosity of donors, 44 percent of students receive financial aid. These students, who hail from all socio-economic backgrounds, go on to Ivy League Schools, liberal arts colleges, and the nation’s best state universities. Invariably, alumni describe the ASP as a turning point in their lives, a preview of what it will mean to be with a community of learners and strivers, a prefiguring of advanced education. Lifetime friendships are forged.

The impact of ASP graduates on the Granite State legal community is at an all-time high. The chief judge of our federal District Court, Joseph LaPlante, Senior Associate Justice Gary Hicks of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, Superior Court Judge David Ruoff, and Probate Judge Christina O’Neill all attended. Our newly-confirmed Attorney General, Gordon MacDonald, ABA Delegate Russ Hilliard, and Chris Keating, the head of the Administrative Office of the Courts, are also ASP alumni.

The roster includes US Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster and many other leading New Hampshire attorneys who have participated in the last six decades. Among them are Ovide Lamontagne, Gene Van Loan, Jennifer Parent, Ray D’Amante, Steve Borofsky, Irv Gordon, Phil Hastings, Gary Casinghino, John E. Frieberg, Kathy Sullivan, Peter Rotch, Matthew Lahey, Manny Krasner, Gray Chynoweth, Marty Van Oot, Heather Burns, Dan Will, Jeremy Walker, Lucy Karl, and dozens of others too numerous to list.

This year, leaders of the New Hampshire Bar are giving back to the ASP in significant ways. William Tucker, a senior partner at Wadleigh, Starr, and Peters, who studied at the ASP in its early days, has endowed a $100,000 scholarship to ensure that a student from Goffstown High School will be able to attend the ASP every year. It is one of the most significant gifts in the program’s history.

McLane Middleton and Sheehan Phinney have each contributed a scholarship to support a law and government student this summer. Sulloway & Hollis has supported the scholarship fund, and Bernstein Shur is actively exploring how it can help out, too.

Also this year, Rob Miller of Sheehan Phinney and Sheb Swett of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are leading an effort to partner with law firms and other businesses to help show young Granite Staters that there are great careers for them right here in New Hampshire. Eight of the 21 ASP board members are attorneys or judges.

Our support on behalf of tomorrow’s state leaders depends in large part on keeping programs like the ASP central and accessible for New Hampshire’s most promising students, regardless of financial need. On behalf of the ASP, I extend my gratitude to the legal community for stepping up for this Granite State treasure.

Jay Surdukowski
Sulloway & Hollis, Concord
Chair, St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program Board of Overseers

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