Hughes/Wharton Fund for Teachers
Named after the late John Hughes, who taught English at Commonwealth for nearly thirty years, and after recently retired Head of School Bill Wharton, who founded the original Hughes fund in 2001 and championed faculty scholarship throughout his tenure, the Hughes/Wharton Fund ensures faculty can pursue their academic passions, access fulfilling professional development opportunities, and have the latitude to create new courses and reinvigorate existing ones.
Since the fund’s establishment, more than sixty teachers have used Hughes grants to pursue almost 200 projects. More than fifty new classes have been created, including physics electives on thermodynamics, waves, and the theory of relativity; Spanish classes focused on female writers and the immigrant experience; and the school’s first-ever interdisciplinary and team-taught class, The Science of Art and Materials. The fund supports our teachers by paying for professional development courses, academic pursuits during sabbaticals, summer initiatives, conferences, and materials they require in the classroom.
In 2021, in honor of Bill Wharton's retirement after thirty-six years at Commonwealth, our community gave generously to partially endow the Hughes/Wharton fund, with alumnus Matt Kraning ’04 offering a matching gift challenge. The fund is supplemented each year through gifts to The Commonwealth Fund, the school’s annual fund.