Day and Boarding; Grades 6-12


Kenneth Kai Tai Yen Humanities Building

Yen building photo with blue sky

The second phase of Pennington's Building for the Future campaign was the construction of a new humanities building in the heart of campus.
Providing a richer education

We want Pennington students to understand the world, to learn the origin of conflicts, to know how to build peace, and to develop good judgment. You can’t accomplish those goals with an educational model that isolates each subject in its own silo.

Today, a real education in the Humanities calls for working closely and collaboratively. Literature teachers next to historians, next to world languages instructors. The new Kenneth Kai Tai Yen Humanities Building, which opened in January 2016, allows us to take a multidisciplinary approach to teaching, in an environment that is open physically as well as intellectually.

Creating a new beacon

The Kenneth Kai Tai Yen Humanities Building provides 25,000 square feet of new classroom, faculty, and office space in three stories, with expansion potential to accommodate future programs. The architects did an exceptional job of designing rooms that are flooded with natural light throughout the year. A two-story atrium and floor-to-ceiling windows at ground level open and illuminate the building. The Kenneth Kai Tai Yen Humanities Building is one of the most inviting learning spaces on campus.

A two-story atrium, named the Joseph L. and Marion M. Wesley Forum, offers an impressive gathering space for larger meetings and performances. The offices of Global Studies and Community Service are found here, as well as the administration of the School’s renowned Edmund V. Cervone Center for Learning program.

With the Kenneth Kai Tai Yen Building, we are able to provide a richer learning experience, foster true collegiality, and better support collaborative activity. There is a huge social aspect to education; now we have space for more group projects.

This kind of cross-pollination creates an idea-intensive environment and more opportunities for engagement. The building’s open design facilitates students' working with each other and their teachers on projects of common interest. It also allows us to teach techniques for cooperative action and conflict resolution.

We are not exaggerating when we say that the new building has transformed the way the Humanities are taught at Pennington. And that’s not all. By concentrating Humanities in the new building we were then able to turn a renovated Stainton Hall into a true STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) center and bring the same advantages of interdisciplinary, collaborative teaching to that component of Pennington’s curriculum as well. These learning spaces enable an approach to education that’s equal to the challenge of preparing students to succeed in a global society.