Celebrating Bill McQuade

At the end of the 2015-2016 academic year, Mr. William McQuade will retire from The Hun School of Princeton. As a teacher, coach, and educational leader, Mr. McQuade has touched the lives of students, athletes, and colleagues over nearly five decades of dedicated service to the School. 
During the 1980s and early 1990s, the Mathematics Department Office at The Hun School of Princeton was a destination. The room itself was modestly appointed with a collection of desks, worn leather couches, and for a period of time, a batting cage was set up on one side of the room. Faculty from every academic department would line up to take swings at a ball, which was tethered by bungee to the apparatus. Yet, it was neither the comfort of the couches nor the appeal of a batting cage that truly drew faculty to the space. The real charm of the office was the camaraderie shared between the faculty.  William McQuade, then Chair of the Mathematics Department, was the heart of the office. His goodwill, warmth, and character were at the center of the communal space – a space where faculty came together to discuss how they could better serve their students, how teaching and coaching should be done, how to take a greater part in the community, and how to enjoy work. 
    • Mathematics Department
      1991 Edgerstounian

      Mathematics Department

"Bill made coming to work fun. The math office was always an area of enjoyment. He kept things light. And, we always got things done. He made us better, by making us want to be together. Not just in the math office, where we would hang out, but also to visit each other’s classrooms, to see each other in action."

Julie Davis, chair of Mathematics Department
With the exception of his service to the United States Army National Guard, Mr. McQuade has spent his entire career at The Hun School of Princeton. Former Headmaster Paul Chesebro H’14 hired Mr. McQuade as an intern math teacher in January of 1971. In his first year, he lived in a faculty apartment in Poe dormitory, took part in the boarding activities, and became enamored with the impact and scope of private school education.
Over the course of the last 46 years, Mr. McQuade has been a teacher, coach, department chair, Upper School head, and assistant headmaster for administrative projects. As such he has taken part in shaping and defining the culture of the School through his leadership and his ability to connect deeply with individuals.
“Coach McQuade epitomizes only the best qualities that team sports offers. I still remember my first encounter with Bill: his trip to the mound when I was pitching a little league game! I believe it was his first coaching position and he was a high schooler. He always had that knack of connecting with a player for whatever guidance was needed at the time – on and off the field.”

Kevin Tylus '73, former Board of Trustees chairman
Mr. McQuade’s knack of connecting to individuals, of being hyper-present is a trademark characteristic. Former Mathematics Chair David Davis explained, “He was so welcoming, whether he was your department chair or the Upper School head, that you always felt like you could go into his office.  You could go in and say, I have an issue to talk to you about, and he would be ready and willing to talk to you right then and there.”

Of his time at The Hun School, Mr. McQuade counts himself the fortunate one. He said, “Part of my makeup in my DNA says, ‘Get a job. Keep a job. And, if you’re lucky enough to be in a job that you truly love, then count your blessings.’ And when I started here at Hun, that’s pretty much what it was. 
    • May, 1989
      "The Mall"

      May, 1989

For the past 46 years, Bill McQuade has lived by that principle. It guided how he worked with and for each and every student and faculty member with whom he came in contact. Students, athletes, and colleagues alike witnessed it – unfailingly – for the duration of his career.
“Just the way he carries himself – it’s contagious. The way he enjoys coming to work everyday, the way he enjoys being with the kids – on the field and in the classroom. You want the kids to want to be in your class, the way they want to be with Bill.”

Julie Davis, chair of Mathematics Department
"From day one, it has been the students who motivated and inspired me to be better each and every day. Our job [as a faculty] is to go into that classroom and make it the best day of a student’s life. I don’t know if that is what they expect, but we owe them that."

Bill McQuade, assistant headmaster for special projects
The Hun School of Princeton is an independent, coeducational, private day and boarding college preparatory school.  Student-centered, hands-on learning prepares students for the global community in which they will live and work.

176 Edgerstoune Road, Princeton, NJ 08540  |  Phone: (609) 921-7600 | Email: admiss@hunschool.org