Founder's Day

In 1964 . . .

On September 9, 1964, three teachers and the original 11 "schoolboys" set sail from Hoboken, New Jersey to Le Havre, France aboard the MS Aurelia. Their eastbound fare was $196. At $3,200, tuition covered this travel expense and most others for the year. The original school was located at the Instituto de Estudios Norteamericanos in Barcelona.

About the Founder

Schoolboys Abroad was conceived by Clark Vaughan (pictured left), Spanish teacher at Wilbraham Academy, and SYA's first Resident Director. Wilbraham Academy wanted to launch the program in 1963-64 and had at least 20 processed applications for that fall, but an emergency expenditure at the school put the program on indefinite hold. Vaughan then took the idea to Phillips Academy (Andover) where Headmaster John Kemper backed the program and gave it space for an administrative office.

Col. Edward M. Harris, a Phillips Academy Spanish teacher, was the first executive director for Schoolboys Abroad.

Daniel (Dan) Olivier, head of the French Department at Germantown Friends School, was Vaughan's assistant in setting up the program. Dan and his wife Ellen accompanied the Vaughans to Spain, teaching English in the first year. Dan was also instrumental in identifying the location for SYA France, which opened in Rennes in the fall of 1967. He served as executive director in 1972-73 as well as resident director in France in 1977-80.

About SYA's logo

Polly Vaughan, an amateur silversmith, came up with SYA's familiar emblem of four interlaced points around a central circle. In the minds of SYA's early leaders, the four points were to represent Spain, France, Russia … and Andover. For, at the time of its creation, SYA was a Phillips Academy program and the Soviet Union was seen as a safe and permanent part of the geopolitical world.

Much has changed since 1964-65, both in the world at large and at SYA.

For one, SYA became an independent non-profit organization in 1975, which means that for more than a generation we have been on our own financially. And we now have four international sites. Today, the four points of the logo represent both our school locations (Rennes, Zaragoza, Beijing and Viterbo), as well as the four points of the compass.

Meet the original
"Schoolboys Abroad"


David R. Berz


Douglass Cassel


Paul K. Dezendorf


Jeffrey T. Eastment


Stephen M. Foster


David A. Goldin


Scott Landa


Mark Pestronk


Michael Sheehan


William R. Sykes


Bruce S. Yarock