Young Alumni

Emily “Max” Bogan '16

An accomplished student-athlete, Emily “Max” Bogan received numerous awards and distinctions at Portsmouth Abbey School.  She was named a Finalist in the 2016 National Merit® Scholarship Program, one of just 15,000 students nationwide to be so recognized from an initial 1.4 million students entered in the nationwide scholarship competition.  At this past year’s Prize Day, Max’s sustained academic excellence was recognized with induction into Portsmouth Abbey’s Cum Laude Society.  She also received the School’s Scholar-Athlete Award, the Portsmouth Abbey Athletic Association Award, and the Rhode Island School of Design Award for her talents in visual arts.  

Max’s most noteworthy athletics achievements were in track and field, where she won the New England Javelin Championship in three consecutive years.  In the process, she set a new School record three times, breaking her own record twice. Her most recent record was a throw of 112-5.

Max, of Norman, Oklahoma, is currently in her freshman year at Stanford University.

Jon Campau '16

A perennial hard worker and stellar School citizen, Jon, of East Lansing, Michigan, earned the distinction of being the top student in the Class of 2016.  He garnered nine awards and honors on Prize Day last May, for academic, athletics and service achievements, including the Excellence in Scholarship Award, for having the highest cumulative academic average in his Fifth and Sixth Form years, and the William Barry McCoy ’67 Memorial Award, for his influence upon his classmates through his Christian attitude and leadership. 

An EIL All-League selection in boys’ cross-country, Jon also won the cross-country and track awards; was elected into the Portsmouth Abbey Cum Laude Society; received the Scholar-Athlete Award, for earning three varsity letters in his Sixth Form year while maintaining the highest academic levels, and the Portsmouth Abbey Athletic Association award, for ability, sportsmanship, leadership and effort; was the School’s Level III Prose and Level IV Poetry Winner in the National Latin Exam; won the Classical Studies Book Prize; and was recognized for his service as an altar server during his time at the Abbey.  

Jon also was a member of Schola, the singing group that provides sacred music for church services, and was a volunteer on a School-sponsored pilgrimage to Lourdes, where he cared for the infirm.  His leadership positions including being captain of the boys’ cross-country and track teams, and he was also selected as a prefect in one of the boys’ residential houses.

Jon was chosen last spring to be among Southeastern New England’s “2016 Best of Class,” which honors the top students from each high school in the region.

He received his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he is currently a freshman. 

Claire Davidson '16

Claire, of Newport, Rhode Island, was the School’s top female squash player during her career at Portsmouth Abbey School.  While at the Abbey, Claire played in 36 U.S. squash tournaments and three international tournaments (in New Zealand). Some of her standout performances include:  first place at the Massachusetts state U19 regional finals; second place at the North Island Championship in New Zealand; place winner at the 2015 U.S. Open U19 (after seven matches in a draw of 128); undefeated at the High School Team Nationals during her Fourth and Sixth Form years; third place at the New England “B” Tournament, during her Fifth Form year; and fourth place at the N.E. “B” Tournament in her final year at the Abbey. Claire earned All-League status in the Eastern Independent League (EIL) all four years of her career and was a Providence Journal Independent All-Star for three years in a row. She was also named “Junior Player of the Year” by the R.I. Squash Association. Claire was nationally ranked as high as 36 during her career at the Abbey, and her overall record here was 64-15.

Claire was honored by her classmates by being selected the female Class of 2016 Speaker for this past year’s commencement. She was also recognized at Prize Day for her leadership and service to others in the School community.

She is currently attending Tufts University and is a critical member on their squash team.

Oliver Ferry '17

Portsmouth Abbey School makes great effort to explore the connections between the sciences and humanities for a well-rounded education. Oliver Ferry particularly embodies this philosophy in his studies and extracurricular activities.  

Oliver’s two favorite subjects at the Abbey were Conceptual Physics and Humanities. “[Physics] inspired me to really appreciate the natural world and how it can be understood through principles and equations…Humanities got me thinking about many existential questions and asking important questions in life.” His extracurriculars were just as varied: Oliver served as the Deputy Editor of the school newspaper; a Red Key Tour Guide; a member of the Culinary Arts club, the Jazz Band, and  the Robotics club; and was a tri-varsity captain for Golf, Squash, and Tennis.     

He spent the summer between his Fourth and Fifth Form years working as an illustrator on an archeological dig in Turkey—his work will be published in a paper that the lead professor of the dig is writing. The following summer, Oliver received a Haney Fellowship to teach Robotics to at risk children in Boys Town Singapore. These endeavors represent a true melding of science and art.

Just like his activities, Oliver’s awards were plentiful across different categories. He received the University of Virginia’s Jefferson Book Award, a Haney Fellowship, the Excellence in Humanities Award, the Excellence in Conceptual Physics Award, the Tennis Coach’s Trophy, and was an Individual Champion of the EIL Golf Tournament.

Oliver will use his experiences at the Abbey as he moves on to college, where he plans to pursue computer science. His biggest lesson learned at the Abbey will surely serve him well at the University of Pennsylvania: “Pursue and explore your interests to the fullest and don’t get bogged down in things that you are comfortable with. The greatest opportunities often are preceded by conquering fear.”    

Kevin Jiang '17

Kevin Jiang’s experience at the Abbey has been a transformative one. Kevin was involved in the Social Committee, Red Key Society, Yearbook, Model United Nations, Culinary Arts Club, and the peer tutoring program. But that was only the start. As a Fourth-Former, Headmaster Dan McDonough encouraged Kevin to join cross-country and track. He was doubtful at first, but then began to see running as a way to learn persistence and dedication. Dr. Bonin supported his interest in squash throughout his time here, and now athletics have become a critical part of his life.       

Because of his hard work and care for his community, Kevin was elected to several leadership positions at the Abbey. He is a prefect at St. Hugh’s House, a captain of the Varsity Cross Country team, the head of the Social Committee, and an editor of the yearbook. He also won several notable awards, including the Algebra II Analysis Award, the Conceptual Physics Award, the JV Squash award, the College of the Holy Cross Book Award, and a Haney Fellowship. He used his Haney Fellowship to work for the New Citizen Project, a charity organization in China. The New Citizen Project focuses on migrant children’s education. Without citizenship or sufficient funds, these children have no opportunity to attend school. Kevin organized and led two field trips with 100 migrant children to the National Library in Beijing.   

In addition to his volunteer work, Kevin organized an art show in Beijing, which featured his own original work. The two-week exhibit was a success, with some patrons even offering to buy a painting or two! When asked for a piece of advice he’d give to an incoming student, Kevin says: “You’ll never know your limits until you try everything. Don’t be afraid.” His career at the Abbey embodied these words.

Kevin attends Cornell University where he is double majoring in art history and fashion design. 

Ryan Madden '17

Ryan Madden never underestimated the balancing-act that life at the Abbey requires. As a three-sport athlete, a Prefect, a soccer Captain, and a high academic-achiever, he learned quickly how to manage his time.  

Ryan earned Honor Roll and Dean’s List honors throughout his career. In addition, he was Captain of the boys’ soccer team when they earned the first undefeated EIL Soccer championship in School history. He received EIL Player of the Year, a nomination to play in the NEPSAC All-Star game, and the William M. Sands Memorial Trophy.      

His athletic achievements are the feather in a cap full of extracurriculars; Ryan participated in the Jazz Band, where he played trumpet and trombone, as well as the Economics Club, where he was elected Vice President as a Sixth Former. As a Prefect for St. Martin’s, he shouldered the responsibility of leadership with respect: “The role of Prefect is one of the biggest leadership opportunities at the Abbey…I hope that the younger students and athletes will take some of my leadership qualities to heart.”  

Ryan attends Boston College as part of the class of 2021. He is pursuing a pre-med track and plans to attend medical school. 

Maya Wilson '17

Upon entering the Abbey as a Third Former, Maya Wilson found Enharmonix. “The first time we sang a chord together was possibly one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had,” she says. “The blend, the sound, the electricity it sparked was beyond anything I had ever known.”

From there, Maya built up her theatre and creative arts credits with astounding speed. She snagged a spot in Mrs. Bonin’s creative writing class as a Fourth-Former, where she wrote alongside Sixth Formers without hesitation. She contributed to The Raven, the Abbey’s literary magazine, and wrote blog posts for the Culinary Arts Club. In addition, she continued to perform with Enharmonix for four years. This past year, Enharmonix placed second in their division at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival. In addition, Maya played the lead role of Elle Woods in the winter musical Legally Blonde.

Maya’s achievements didn’t end on the stage; she also committed herself to charitable work. In the summer of 2016, she spent five weeks in the Dominican Republic teaching theater workshops to impoverished, undocumented Haitian girls.

Maya now attends Vassar College, where she plans to double-major in Theater and Psychology.   

Jenny Yates '16

Jenny excelled both in and outside of the classroom while at the Abbey.  She was a co-captain of the girls’ varsity soccer and the track and field teams, where she was a four-year letter winner; was editor of Edifice, the School’s academic journal, and a staff writer for the School newspaper, The Beacon; was a peer tutor in several subjects; volunteered with two student-run organizations on campus, Teens Leading Children and Students Against Destructive Decisions; and was a Red Key tour guide for the admissions office.  She was a Dean’s List student all fours years at the Abbey.

Of Jenny’s accomplishments, perhaps the most noteworthy is a project she undertook on behalf of an impoverished community in South Africa. A resident of Portsmouth, RI, Jenny researched and created a design for an outdoor classroom, community gardens and recreational space for elementary school children in a local township. Through the non-profit organization Universal Promise, she raised funds for the project, and then spent 10 days in South Africa last summer directing and participating in the project, which was done manually. In June 2016, Jenny received the Rhode Island Veterans of Foreign Service Americanism Award for her work in South Africa.

In addition to the Girls’ Soccer Trophy, Jenny received an award on Prize Day for Excellence in French and another, the St. Gregory Award, for her service to others.   

Called “…a wonderful example of the all-around Portsmouth Abbey student” by Headmaster Dan McDonough, Jenny now attends Georgetown University, where she is studying business.
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