Ronald M. Ansin ’08
Ronald M. Ansin was honored as the fourth recipient of the Founders Award on Friday, April 25, 2008.
The celebration was held in the AlumniCenter for Performing Arts with all students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and friends and members of the Ansin family. Ron has truly exhibited the criteria for this prestigious award. He has served on the Board of Trustees for 30 years (1971 to 2001). He served as Treasurer from 1976 to 1983. He became an Honorary Trustee in 2002 and still serves in that capacity today.
Chris Williamson welcomed the audience and Ron’s daughter, Kim Ansin Blanchard ‘77, began the tribute. She relayed the fact that it was Ron’s desire to have his grandchildren take part in the ceremony. Her sons’, Kurtis and Nicholas Bryars, delivered a delightful and humorous tribute to their grandfather. Kristopher Ansin and Ryan Ansin, who were unable to attend the ceremony in person due to scheduling conflicts, arranged for Kim to read their tributes to their grandfather on their behalf. Clarence Rabideau presented Ron with a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of all current and former faculty and staff. David Stone ’73, President of the Board, formally presented the Founders Award to Ron.
“I’d like to thank Kelly Jennison for all of the work that she put into making this such a special day for my Dad. Thanks also to Anne Davenport and Sean Morrow of the Development Office, and to David Stone and Chris Williamson for their efforts as well. I know that we all feel that my Dad has given a great deal to Applewild. Thank you all for making this, his day, so special.
My Dad is one of the proudest grandfathers I know. He just beams when he talks about his grandchildren. So it was no great surprise that, when he learned that he had been chosen as the fourth recipient of the Founders Award, he said that he would love to have his grandchildren speak in his honor. Well, I thought that was a great idea! It meant that I wouldn’t have to write a speech and get up in front of a whole lot of people and speak! We would pass the torch to a new generation!
Unfortunately Kris and Ryan Ansin are unable to be here today. So I will be reading the words they sent in about their Grandpa. But first, my sons, Nick, a fifth grader here at Applewild and Kurt, a sixth grader here, have some thoughts they’d like to share about their Grandpa Ansin. And once he sees his brothers up here, their younger brother Scott, Applewild class of 2019 may well share a thought or two as well!”
(Kurt) “Grandpa, it’s cool that you are getting the Founders Award because you definitely deserve it. I mean, my Mom has been a trustee for two years now. You’ve been one for thirty years! My Mom’s been to an unbelievable number of meetings at Applewild in just two years. How many have you been to in thirty years? Now, you were my first math teacher. Let’s see how you, Mrs. Gregson and all my other math teachers have done…. Let’s see if I can get the math here right! My Mom has about four Applewild meetings a week, I think. So four meetings a week times the thirty-two weeks we are in school means that as a trustee she goes to about 128 Applewild meetings per year. So she has been to about 256 meetings and that seems like a ton to me, Nick and Scott! But you! You have been to thirty years worth of Applewild meetings! That is about 3,840 meetings just for Applewild! WOW! That’s a lot!
(Nick) 3,840 meetings Grandpa. That is a lot of sitting! It’s probably a lot of reading too, because we see the paperwork our Mom has to go through before each meeting. I sure hope that at least some of your meetings were DINNER MEETINGS! Maybe even buffet dinner meetings because we know how much you enjoy a good buffet!
Seriously Grandpa. I know that you have devoted your time and energy to Applewild because you love the school. You have helped literally hundreds of kids by making Applewild what it is for all of us today. I also know that you do a lot of things sort of under the radar, anonymously. So I am guessing that there are even more ways that you have helped Applewild, on top of all those meetings, that I don’t even know about.
You are a great role model and teacher. You make things that seem confusing and hard to understand seem so simple. You think about things and can explain them so that anyone can understand and feel smart and confident. Just like you have helped me through the hard math problems, I am sure you have helped lead Applewild through all sorts of things in the more than thirty years you have been volunteering here.
Thanks and congratulations Grandpa.”
Eight years ago, we gathered here to recognize Grandpa’s contributions to Applewild. Unable to attend because of a back injury, Grandpa’s address to the audience was limited to a video monitor. Today, as I am unable to be with all of you, I thought it best to pass on a few words should the video crew not reach me in time.
Grandpa, as the Applewild community pauses to recognize your generous contributions over the years, as a former student here, know how grateful and proud of you I am. But the greatest contribution I’ve received has been the time you’ve been equally generous with. Participating at every Grandparents Day over the years, standing on the sidelines at soccer games, handing me my high school diploma, or choking up on the phone as I prepared to graduate from college, the presence you have been throughout my education is what I appreciate the most. So thank you for those countless experiences Grandpa, much love and Congratulations!”=
“I am extremely proud to say that had I been able to be here today, this would not have been my first time standing in front of an Applewild audience, and congratulating my Grandfather, Ron Ansin. Many of us have thanked my Grandfather before, many times over and with good reason. He deserves it.
This is quite a man you have on your side. His job, which he does flawlessly, is essentially to care. Sounds simple. And he would tell you that it is because he believes in the mission, as well as the past, present and future success of Applewild. However, to care about something to the extent that he does and to invest a good chunk of his lifetime with that is unique.
Grandpa’s realm of caring for this school expands far beyond our basic understanding of the matter. Everybody has a hobby that they adore to the point where they can talk about it to no end. I’m not saying Grandpa does not have any hobbies by any means, I’m just trying to convey the intensity level of Grandpa’s love for Applewild. All of you with children can discuss his, her or their best qualities for hours to anyone in the world because they are such important parts of your lives. This is essentially what I’ve observed in Grandpa’s feelings towards this establishment.
Look at how much he has invested here. I don’t mean financially, or even his time he has spent mentally, and physically, but his investment in trust. As of today, eight of his dearest family members, (maybe I’m flattering myself, at least seven dearest and me) have walked through these halls, marked up the majority of his or her desk and eventually succeeded. The level of trust it takes to send four children and four grandchildren, so far, to any entity, person or school, is staggering. If Grandpa could home school us all in a healthy way, he probably would have. And aside from potential childhood obesity from keeping up with his nutritional intake, we would have left Ron Ansin’s own elementary and middle school very intelligent. I can prove this as I still remember the math, grammar, and historical facts he has imparted on me just in passing. Other than taking our education in his own hands on a daily basis, a close second option in the eyes of my Grandfather’s eyes is to spend time here. I did. I spent a lot of time. Perhaps a few hours per week more than the average student thanks to my demerit-acquiring nature back then. Everyone from Quail to Corbey to Chamas tried to squeeze it out of me, and who could blame them? They knew how amazing a person my Grandfather was and is. So why couldn’t I morph into him, but younger? He was always very well mannered on Grandparents Day! To alleviate the worries of all those teachers who must have turned to ibuprofen or stronger, due to my headaches, I’ll tell you: I agree. I would love to grow up and emulate Grandpa.
I can’t think of someone who is more giving of all his resources than he. We, as a family, are proud. And he deserves to know that. This is why this particular award stands out. We are all invested in it. We have all directly experienced the fruit of his labor. By we, now, I mean everyone here. We are students, alumni, faculty members, staff and family members whose lives have been touched by Applewild.
Grandpa, everything you’ve done here, though you reap partial benefit because we all come out better than when we went in, has been for others near and far. You did it for all of us, for our brighter future. Please gloat today. Tomorrow you can return to modesty.
We see the outstanding consequences of your generosity toward the school. Applewild is not done growing or improving. Applewild, faculty, staff, students and alumni must be proud of yourselves to keep this man on your side for decades. And you, Grandpa, should be proud to stand here and accept and acknowledge the effects of your lifelong contribution to this school on the hill. Congratulations!”