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Ross Robotics Room Dedicated 

The section of the Pearse Hub for Innovation (PHI) that is home to the robotics team was a second home to science teacher and robotics coach Ewen Ross, who died in January 2023 at the age of 51. On Monday, June 3, that space was dedicated in Ewen’s memory as an overflowing crowd of faculty and staff paid tribute. 

In attendance were Ewen’s wife, Lisa, who is director of alumni and parent relations, and their children, Ellie ’23 and rising senior Tyler.  

The plaque reads: 

Ross Robotics Room 

In loving memory of longtime faculty member 

Ewen Ross 

A joyful and caring advisor to the robotics team, an energetic and passionate teacher, an inspiring and supportive colleague, a devoted husband and father. 

2023 

Head of School Sheila Culbert, Science Department Head Neil Chaudhary '05, and Associate Director Innovation Jen Solomon each spoke. 

Neil said his earliest recollection of Ewen came on a cold and dark January night as Neil was walking from the dining hall to an art exhibit opening at the Richmond Art Center. Along the way there was Ewen with a telescope pointed to the eastern sky above the Meadows. Ewen was inviting students coming and going from the art exhibit to gaze at that night sky and all its wonder. 

Neil likened Ewen himself to a star. “Bright, warm and in his heart forged love for his family and with the world,” Neil said.  “The love for science and engineering he shared with so many students and colleagues made his galactic neighborhood that much richer.” 

Jen worked closely with Ewen and Director of Innovation Scott MacClintic ’82 to establish the PHI. “Naming this [space] for Ewen is a no-brainer. You can see Ewen everywhere. I .... see Ewen everywhere,” Jen said.  “Ewen built this space with joy, with laughter, with challenge and curiosity, with deep care for the students and adults he worked with each day.”   

Ewen was posthumously awarded the FIRST Tech Challenge’s Compass Award in February 2023, which is given to a robotics mentor or coach for outstanding work. Jen said students had tried to nominate Ewen for the award previously, but he had always felt it should go to others. He finally relented to being nominated shortly before his death. 

Sheila called the dedication “a moving moment for all of us” and the newly named space a place where “his legacy will live on.”   

“Ewen touched the lives of so many students, faculty, and staff,” Sheila said. And to Ewen’s family seated in the front row, she told them they were “his everything.” 

She described Ewen as a passionate educator, kind and generous, and a man of many interests, including star-gazing, creating stained glass art, golfing, and scouring land with a metal detector. After all, there are treasures both above and below us. 

Sheila recalled winning a piece of Ewen’s stained glass work in an auction about 15 years ago. It had hung in the Head’s House ever since then. On Monday, she gifted it to Ewen’s family. 

Sheila said she was always impressed by how many girls were involved in robotics and how Ewen encouraged them to be part of the team. She read a letter that Lisa had received from Lily Clark ’24, a former member of the robotics team. 

Lily wrote that Mr. Ross had taught her everything she knew in robotics and “inspired me to explore different paths for my future.” She was accepted into the aerospace engineering program at Ewen’s alma mater, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), with a merit scholarship, and called that “something I would never have dreamed of doing before Mr. Ross.” She wrote that she wished she could share this success with him. “The things he taught me and the memories I have of him have gotten me to where I am today, and I will never forget him. The one thing I never got to do is thank him for everything he did for me,” she concluded. 

The beautifully written letter did just that.  


 

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