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Honoring Max Mann '04

Dozens gather as Max Mann Fund for Exceptional Math Instruction is announced

photo: Robbie and Judy Mann and Dr. Thomas López with faculty and staff from Max's time at Gordon. From left, Ralph Wales, Maureen Kelly, Maryanne Pieri, Janet Burnham, Greg Carson, Santana Sluss, Eric Kravitz, Kay Webber, Judy Mann, Damon Ray, Noni Thomas López, Tom Cicatiello and Robbie Mann. Over half of these faculty and staff are still at Gordon.

Dozens of old friends and extended family gathered today to honor the memory of Max Mann ’04, who passed away in 2020.

The occasion was the dedication of a bench in Max’s memory. The bench is just inside the gate on the path to the Nelson Field House, placed in a space where anyone who sits on it will have a full view of the Mann Family Early Childhood Playground.

The event included remarks from Max’s mother, Judy Mann, as well as Nick Wall ‘99, speaking on behalf of Zack Mann '06, and Head of School Noni Thomas López and former Head of School Ralph Wales.

Each of the presenters reflected on the importance of strong community, and places like Gordon, during times of crisis, and this theme was echoed by many of the guests who lingered in the playground afterwards.

At the event, Judy Mann announced a $150,000 gift to establish the Max Mann Fund for Exceptional Math Instruction as a permanent fund that will directly support faculty professional development, curriculum development, materials and field trips.

At Gordon's Commencement, each graduate is honored with a diploma that includes a quote chosen especially for them by the faculty. Max’s bench is next to a plaque with the Vince Lombardi quote that was on Max’s diploma:

The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.

The Max Mann Fund for Exceptional Math Instruction will help ensure that generations of Gordon students will be able to discover their own will to excel in the math classroom. Anyone interested in contributing to the fund, or to Gordon’s endowment, should contact Alexandra O'Connor, Director of Philanthropic Engagement, at 401 434-3833 or


above: immediately after today's reception, Nursery put the bench to use while presenting their own tributes to important people in their lives.

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