St. Paul's in New Hampshire Names Matthews as Rector (Update1)

Bloomberg [Concord NH]
January 10, 2006

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- St. Paul's School, a private boarding school in Concord, New Hampshire, that has struggled with allegations of sexual abuse and financial misconduct, named William R. Matthews Jr. as the new rector, effective immediately.

Matthews, 62, has been interim rector since predecessor Bishop Craig Anderson left St. Paul's at the end of the academic year in June, according to statements posted on the school's Web site. He is a 1961 graduate of the school, which is affiliated with the Episcopal Church.

Matthews previously served as St. Paul's director of development, director of admissions and vice rector for students. He is taking over a school that agreed to annual financial oversight from the New Hampshire Attorney General's office in 2004, and which had to apologize for allegations of sexual abuse during the 1970s.

"Today in chapel, I had the great pleasure of announcing the appointment of William R. Matthews as the twelfth rector," James O. Robbins, president of the board of trustees, wrote in a statement posted on the school's Web site and e-mailed to alumni. "Bill's appointment follows a long and thorough search."

St. Paul's has 500 students and 100 faculty members. Alumni include Massachusetts Senator John F. Kerry and Robert S. Mueller, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Public Apology

While interim rector, Matthews in December published an apology in the state capital's newspaper, the Concord Monitor, for abuse that came to light when a female member of the Class of 1975 levied allegations in 2000. Her complaint was followed by others from her classmates and from members of the Class of 1976, according to Matthews's letter.

"To the alumni who came forward, and to any others who may have been harmed, I want to apologize on behalf of the school, a school that they as adolescents trusted," Matthews wrote in the letter that was also included in an internal school newsletter.

Matthews wrote that none of the faculty accused are still affiliated with the school. They have either died, or in the case of two unnamed individuals, were barred from campus after the accusations were made.

The Internal Revenue Service began an audit in 2004 of the school's finances for the 2001-2002 fiscal year, according to a report by the New York Times in May 2005. The IRS can't say if it's conducting an audit according to federal law, spokesman Eric Smith said in an interview.

Financial Review

In 2004, St. Paul's agreed to allow New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte's office to review its finances until 2008, according to documents on the attorney general's Web site. The agreement began during the tenure of former Attorney General Peter W. Heed. A telephone call seeking comment from Michael S. DeLucia, who is handling the case for Ayotte's office, wasn't immediately returned.

According to the terms of the agreement, the school also agreed to cut by 10 percent the salaries of then-Rector Anderson and Vice Rector Sharon D. Hennessy, according to a letter signed by the school's attorney Robert G. Gordon, of the firm Ropes and Gray LLP in Boston.

Hennessy is on sabbatical this year and is pursuing other jobs, school spokeswoman Clarine Leslie said in an e-mail. The position of vice rector has been eliminated.

The agreement also says the total maximum compensation is set at $452,000 for the rector and $297,000 for the vice rector, Gordon's letter says, which is posted on the attorney general's Web site.

Search Committee

Wickenden Associates of Princeton, New Jersey, helped the trustee's search committee, headed up by Bob Lindsay, a 1973 graduate. The search for a new rector began in May, when it was announced Anderson was leaving.

"The committee had its work cut out for it, with many extremely fine candidates to choose from," Lindsay said in an e-mailed press release. "In the end, the decision came down to who would be the best for St. Paul's School and that person was Bill Matthews."

Robbins made the announcement to the school this morning and then e-mailed the news to alumni and parents.

To contact the reporter on this story:

Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at


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