Currie '74 Elected to Succeed Tang as Board President July 2012
Peter Currie's election topped a trustee agenda that included campaign momentum, student experiences, and 2012 budget
February 15, 2011
— Peter Currie ’74, charter trustee since 2004 and chair of the finance committee, has been elected to succeed Oscar Tang ’56 as president of the board. Currie will assume leadership July 1, 2012, which is the conclusion of Tang’s term. Tang was elected charter trustee in 1995 and president in 2004.
Peter Currie’s election and the 2012 budget topped the agenda for the winter trustees meeting, which also included the
announcement of new gifts to The Campaign for Andover.
Currie Named Board's 28th President Effective July 2012
Currie, who will become the board’s 28th president, will spend the next several months working closely with Tang and Head of School Barbara Landis Chase to prepare for his new role.
A resident of Palo Alto, California, Currie is principal of private investment firm Currie Capital. He holds a BA from Williams College and an MBA from Stanford University.
As chair of the finance committee, Currie has worked closely with Chief Operating and Financial Officer Steve Carter and other senior administrators on all aspects of the budget, including protocols for financial reporting and modeling, and components such as tuition, compensation, annual renewal and capital projects.
“Andover’s financial picture is fairly complex, and as chair of the finance committee, Peter has done a fantastic job of working through volumes of data and providing a summary picture that is clear and accessible,” said Tang, adding that Currie’s leadership style is collaborative and engaging. “He encourages discussion without trying to influence the outcome. I find him to be open and deliberative in his efforts to understand the issues and invite opinions.”
A widely respected Silicon Valley financial executive, Currie began his career at Morgan Stanley and went on to serve as executive vice president and chief financial officer of McCaw Cellular, a pioneer in wireless communication, and after that as executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Netscape, one of the first internet companies. Since then he has been active as an investor and has had board roles at several public and private companies, including Schlumberger and Twitter.
“By all measures, Andover is doing extraordinarily well right now,” said Currie, who is particularly proud of Andover’s ability to maintain need-blind admission in spite of the global economic downturn. “That is a crowning achievement. While other institutions had to rethink their positions on need blind, Andover worked incredibly hard to preserve access.”
Currie also commented on the defining characteristics that make Andover a wonderful place.
“The vibrancy of the programs, the talent and versatility of the faculty, the promise and curiosity of the students -- all combine to create an inclusive culture and supportive community,” he said. “The reach of this institution is also growing, and I am convinced that Phillips Academy will play a bigger role in a world that is more connected and changing at a faster pace than ever before.”
In addition to his work as an Andover trustee, Currie has also served as a member of the Andover Development Board and the Gelb Science Center Advisory Committee. He has volunteered in a number of capacities for both Campaign Andover and the current campaign, and has been a generous contributor to the Gelb, the Addison Gallery, student scholarships and the Andover Fund.
Currie and his wife, Betsy, have two sons, Peter ’03 and Tim.
Campaign Momentum, Student Experiences, and 2012 Budget Top Trustee Agenda
Board President Oscar Tang ’56 opened the winter trustee meetings by announcing two significant gifts to The Campaign for Andover. A commitment of $1 million from David Corkins ’84 will support summer experiences for students, and a gift of $1 million from Charter Trustee Bill Lewis ’74 and his wife, Carol, will support Outreach Programs. The campaign now stands at $220 million toward its $300 million goal.
Several trustees also had the opportunity to engage with students and faculty throughout the weekend.
Members of the student life and community health teams gathered for dinner with Tang Wednesday evening to discuss Andover’s comprehensive program to support students. From health and wellness to spiritual life and academic skills, the discussion focused on the variety of support and programming offered, and the ways in which Andover identifies students with counseling needs. Tang was particularly impressed by the depth and breadth of services, as well as the coordination and communication needed to make the program most effective.
Trustees who gathered for breakfast Saturday with students involved in CAMD programs and organizations came away inspired by the students’ passion for and understanding of contemporary cultural issues, such as race, religion, and political persuasion. This informal tradition of “breaking bread” gives trustees an opportunity to gain insight into issues and concerns facing students. Lewis called their exchange an example of inclusivity and diversity at their finest: “These students represent the kinds of global, thoughtful leaders that [PA] is striving to educate.” Fellow charter trustee Gary Lee ’74 added that the students in attendance represented “not only diversity of ethnicity, but diversity of thought.”
Chase Earns Instructorship
Debbie Chase, instructor in English, was awarded the Ansin Family Instructorship during Friday’s dinner program. John Rogers, dean of studies, described Chase through the eyes of her students: “Her charges praise her as ‘a very chill person who connects well with us and listens to what we have to say.’”
She has taken on a wide range of curricular roles, from course head/teacher for English 100 to instructor of a course for one-year seniors titled “Strangers in Strange Land.” Her talents in the classroom extend far beyond, as well. “She eagerly took on house counseling and advising ninth- grade girls…. Debbie is also a great coach, both in tennis—her game of choice—and in squash, which she took on to fill a need at the Academy,” Rogers continued. “Debbie is among those who enable Andover to thrive by enthusiastically doing whatever needs to be done, and doing it exceptionally well.”
In other business:
- The board began its work on the FY 2011–2012 budget by approving boarding and day tuition rates, as well as a financial aid budget that allows the Academy to preserve need-blind admission. Keeping with past practice, specific figures will be released mid-February. Trustees also increased the compensation budget by 2 percent.
- The board thanked Chief Investment Officer Amy Falls ’82 for her exceptional service to the Academy. Falls, who led the establishment of Andover’s Investment Office in New York, will become CIO at Rockefeller University next month. The board welcomed interim CIO Michael Reist, a five-year member of the investment team, who presented the mid-year endowment report.
- Trustees voted to renew the faculty mortgage plan through 2014.
- Jane Fried, assistant head for enrollment, research, and planning and dean of admission, presented a plan, on behalf of the administration, to reduce the day student population over the next three years. A reduction from 291 students to 275 students will allow the school to achieve its target populations of 25 percent day and 75 percent boarding, as articulated in the 2004 Strategic Plan.
- The audit committee heard reports on issues related to electronic data security as well as document management. Dominic Veneto, director of information technology, and Maureen Nunez, director of risk management, offered updates on new measures PA has taken to ensure compliance and to increase security in these areas.
- Charter Trustee Shelly Guyer ’78, chair of the building committee, offered the following facilities updates:
- The boathouse is proceeding through an extensive permitting phase. Meanwhile, fundraising continues, with a goal to secure a significant portion of the total project cost before the final purchase is made and construction may begin.
- The Addison Gallery will close March 28 through early September for the installation of a new roof. The Museum Learning Center will remain open and available for classes.
- Bulfinch Hall continues through the design phase, with trustees seeking input from English faculty on how to make the space more functional and inviting. More than 50 percent of the fundraising goal has been met.