July 10, 2018
David Ames held a number of different positions during his fourteen years at Andover Newton—Assistant to the Faculty, then Assistant to the Dean, then Assistant to the President. Some people move from one position to another because they are not successful at any. That was not David. Others move from success to success until, according to the famous “Peter Principle,” they keep getting promoted until they “reach their level of incompetence.” That is not true of David, either. Rather, David always took on new challenges with good cheer and demonstrated his competence, and more, at every position. (In typing that last sentence I mistakenly wrote that David took on new challenges with “god cheer,” which is remarkably accurate; David’s faith animates his work in fitting and delightful ways.)
Although David brought many skills and gifts to the various positions he held, his demeanor itself was a great gift to the school—welcoming, helpful, positive. While others about him were losing their patience, or losing their minds, David remained the essential non-anxious presence close to the center of it all. From working closely with David, however, I know that this equanimity was hard-won. David followed the advice attributed to Michael Caine: “Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.”
Now David is taking those qualities to the office of The Right Reverend Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. They are blessed to have him.
David’s devotion to Andover Newton and her people (which is really saying the same thing, isn’t it?) was demonstrated with each day and every task. For these reasons, and many others, we are pleased to bestow upon David the status of Staff Emeritus.
by: Martin Copenhaver