On Tuesday, March 27, Lincoln Academy Associate Athletic Director, teacher, advisor, and former coach Phil Page headed into the Lincoln Academy gym with two student rebounders to take on a challenge he had not attempted since 1980: sinking 100 free throws in 10 minutes.
“I decided to do this to help raise money for the Senior Class Gift,” said Page, who is an advisor for the Lincoln Academy Class of 2018.
Advisors at LA are members of the faculty and staff who meet daily with the same group of students during all four years of high school. They form a bond with their advisees that starts with ninth grade orientation and finishes when advisors present diplomas to their graduating advisees.
Page takes his role as an advisor seriously, and he feels especially committed to helping seniors raise funds for and select their Senior Class Gift as part of a long Lincoln Academy tradition. For more than a century each graduating class has given a lasting gift to LA. With his co-advisor, French teacher Alison Welch, Page has helped raise funds for his advisee classes’ Senior Gift every four years starting in 2002.
The Class of 2002 gave the granite sign that sits in front of the school’s main campus. The class of 2006 gave the portrait of Howie Ryder that currently hangs in the Ryder Science Wing. The Class of 2010 gave the projection screen in the Bailey Gym. The Class of 2014 gave both projection equipment for the gym and the picnic tables in the school’s courtyard. Page was an advisor for all four of these classes, and each gift has a plate or engraving that identifies the class that made the donation.
The oldest Senior Class Gift on campus, according to Page, is the pendulum clock in school library, a gift of the Class of 1903.
The Class of 2018 has not yet decided on their gift, but Page wanted to ensure that it will be a good one. “This class needed a little boost to meet their goal,” said Page. “I decided I could try to do this again, and help them out.” Seniors collected pledges per basket, with donors generally pledging between one and ten dollars each. All told, seniors collected about $1500 worth of pledges before the Tuesday free throw attempt.
Page’s co-advisor, Alison Welch, was the timer and counter for the event. “Coach Page has still got it!” she said. According to her tabulation, Page just barely missed his goal, sinking 93 shots in ten minutes. “But it only took him 10 minutes and 30 seconds to make all 100 shots… he was so close!”
Page, who graduated from LA in 1970, played guard for the LA boys basketball team and broke the school record for points scored in a single game with 38. After playing basketball for two years in college, and graduating from the University of Maine, Page returned to LA as a teacher, coach, and eventually athletic director. He coached basketball for 12 years, including coaching the boys’ team to it’s 1989 state championship.
Page’s free-throw effort was not about basketball, however, but the Senior Class Gift, which Page ranks as one of the more memorable and important things classes do for their school. “I have always tried to emphasize the importance of classes leaving an enduring class gift, something that they will be able to see at their 50th reunion. I hope I was able to help out with that this year.”
From left: LA seniors Nathan Masters, LA language teacher and Phil Page’s co-advisor Alison Welch, Page, and LA senior John Pinkham. Page’s free throw shooting will earn about $1500 to support the Gift to Lincoln Academy from the Class of 2018.