Education: Something Says Yes

Rumors swept New Hampshire's famed Phillips Exeter Academy one morning last week as the school's 766 boys were summoned to a sudden meeting. "The school is bankrupt," some joked. "Girls are going to be admitted," others hoped. When Principal William Gurdon Saltonstall, 57, uncoiled his towering frame (6 ft. 4 in.) and rose to speak, the news topped the rumors.

"Life is unpredictable," said Saltonstall in his laconic way. "In sailing terms, we sometimes come about and start on a new tack, or as in this case, we jibe over sharply to an entirely...

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