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Andy Weneczek

The Alumni House, newly renovated in 2007, is actually named Weneczek House after Andy Weneczek, another of the original landowners from whom the Hampshire campus was purchased. Andy ran a dairy farm on Bay Road; in fact, he had helped his widowed mother run the farm since he was 12. He was very much attached to his land, and by all accounts was very leery of selling it to Chuck Longsworth (the first employee and second President of Hampshire). What changed Andy's mind? When he found out the land was to go for a new college! He said, in an interview with Chuck Longsworth in 1970, "Well, I never had a chance to get an education. And I figured, a lot of these kids haven't got a chance either. . .A lot of kids would like to go, but they haven't got the room. So I figured that if I could help some other kids along in it, I'd be glad to do it."

After selling his land to the college, Andy worked for the Physical Plant. Ruth Hammen said of him in 1989, "Andy Weneczek built the college. He could do anything. . .and whenever I hear somebody say, 'That isn't in my job description,' I think of Andy Weneczek. He would collate the trustees' papers; he could fix anything mechanical; he was still tilling his asparagus. . ."

When he died suddenly in 1977, the college community felt he would be impossible to replace. In a statement that was later passed as a resolution by the Board of Trustees, Chuck Longsworth said of him, "This week we have lost a person who is one of the founding spirits of the College: Andrew Weneczek. . .Hampshire became his new school. No effort was too great, no task too difficult, no request too trivial for the College. The College became his life and he lived it twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. He looked for ways to help; he sought work; he gave himself to his college. Andy Weneczek showed us the limits of education. School didn't make him kind, or hardworking, devoted, tolerant, or generous. Yet he was all that. And his natural wit and intelligence joined with the goodness of his warm heart to make a superb human being whom we all thought of as our friend. Andy's college and Andy's friends will miss him."

 

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