AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The Hampshire College flagpole at the center of the American flag controversy was dedicated to a former employee back in 1977. Andrew Weneczek was one of the first employees of Hampshire College. He was called “Mr. Hampshire” in several old newspaper articles and Hampshire College itself may not exist without them.
In 1965, Andrew and Stephanie, who operated a dairy farm, sold the land for the establishment of Hampshire College. Andrew worked at the physical plant as one of their first employees. When Andrew passed away in 1977, the center flagpole was dedicated in his memory by the Board of Trustees and a commemorative plaque was installed.
The fact that the flagpole remains bare is something that his widow Stephanie, now 94 years old, says would make him profoundly disappointed. “It’s meant to be his flagpole and that meant everything to him, and it hurts me too,” she told 22News. “I would imagine it’s hurting him. He’s looking down on it and he knows whats going on.”
Their daughter Karen still works for Hampshire College; she’s been there for 41 years. They told 22News that Hampshire College has always been a part of their hearts and lives but they want to see the red, white and blue fly from the flagpole right away.