From STEM to Sports: One Family's Generosity Transforms ASP
Incredible families come through ASP’s doors every day, and some choose to make an impact on the ASP community that lasts long after their children cross the graduation stage, or before a job posting moves them on to their next international adventure. Today, we’re bringing you the story of the Nolop family, after whom our Nolop Tech Shop is named, and who have recently given a major gift to fund the transformation of our ASP Community Sports Area and Café Garden.
When Hege and Neil Nolop and their sons Christopher '07 and Andre '09, came to ASP in 2003, their impact on our school community began to take shape. As an active ASP family, the boys participated in National Honors Society, the Green Team environmental club, volleyball, and basketball, while Hege served on the Board of Trustees.
Following Christopher and Andre’s graduations in 2007 and 2009, respectively, the Nolop family stayed connected with ASP as part of our vibrant alumni community. Both brothers pursued careers in STEM; Christopher is an architect with Arktura, and André a senior solutions engineer at Salesforce.
In 2016, the Nolop family suffered the death of Neil’s brother, Dr. Keith Nolop. An accomplished pharmaceutical researcher working on ground-breaking medicines and advanced cancer treatment, Dr. Keith Nolop was also, “the quintessential uncle… [who] imparted timeless wisdom and always encouraged adventure.” Keith was a strong advocate for STEM education, and in his memory, the Nolop family made a gift to ASP through Keith’s estate. This gift allowed ASP to build The Nolop Tech Shop, which was inaugurated in 2018.
The Nolop Tech Shop is a bright, airy design studio filled with state-of-the-art equipment like 3D printers, coding and design materials, laser cutters, industry-grade multi-medium printers, and more.
"Life isn’t the same without him, but we're proud and grateful that his legacy lives on through the ASP Tech Shop," share Christopher and André.
The Nolop Tech Shop is central to the STEAM program at ASP, and the use of this space and the tools within have made a deep and lasting impact on our ASP students.
This year, the Nolop family has made another major gift donation to ASP, providing the majority of the funding for our new and improved ASP Community Sports Area and Café Garden, which was recently announced by Jane Thompson, the ASP Head of School. We sat down with Neil and Hege Nolop to discuss their ongoing relationship with ASP, why they have chosen to give to our school and their hopes for the future impact of their giving.
What motivates you to give to ASP?
We are very pleased with the education that our sons Christopher and André received from ASP and we wanted to give something back. With support from the community, together we can improve the campus and give the students access to high-quality equipment. We have been thrilled to witness the popularity of the Nolop Tech Shop for all grade levels. It is truly rewarding and was a key factor in our decision to donate to the community sports project.
What do you love about ASP
We love ASP's welcoming and vibrant atmosphere and the wide diversity of the students and faculty. The school has a very strong sense of community. Class sizes are small so the students receive individual attention. ASP is family-oriented with energetic and engaged parents who simply want the best for their children.
Most people are familiar with philanthropic giving to a university, as opposed to a school of young learners like ASP. What do you feel are the key differences between giving, and the impact of giving, at a school like ASP?
We feel that donating to a school with younger learners can result in modern facilities and equipment that generate enthusiasm for learning and establish a solid foundation that eventually will lead to higher education. We hope that our donation will inspire other families to give when they see what our gift has accomplished. It is very satisfying donating to a school like ASP.
Please tell us about Dr. Keith Nolop, his work, and his impact on your family?
Keith was an accomplished researcher who developed ground-breaking pharmaceuticals and advanced cancer treatments. He was extremely smart and worked very hard to accomplish his goals in life. He loved to read and learn and was willing to step outside his comfort zone. Keith was an engaged mentor for his nephews, Christopher and André, and he is sorely missed by them and by the rest of our family.
Thank you to the Nolop family for their incredible support for the American School of Paris! Your dedication to our students and the mission of ASP is deeply inspiring.