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The World Comes to Andover

Each year, professionals from all walks of life come to Andover to share their experiences with students. Among other things, they give talks, conduct workshops, sit on panels, and even teach classes.The following list provides just a small sampling of those who have visited with us over the years.

Tracy K. Smith
May 15, 2015

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith discussed her poetry and her recently released memoir "Ordinary Light".



Lawrence Lessig
May 6, 2015

Harvard professor and political activist Lawrence Lessig spoke to students during All-School Meeting about the imbalance of power in the American electoral process.



Dr. Vanessa Kerry '95
April 29, 2015

The alumna talked about the organization she founded, SEED Global Health, that is bringing much needed health services and medical training to under served parts of the globe as the featured Non Sibi Day speaker at All-School Meeting.



Dr. Edward Ayers
April 29, 2015

The Civil War scholar and president of the University of Richmond explored what we have learned about ourselves and our history and offered thoughts about what we still need to learn—and how we might go about learning it.


Karen Russell
April 17, 2015

A short story writer and author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel "Swamplandia!", Karen Russell read an excerpt from one of her short stories and conducted a Q&A session that focused on her career and the writing process.


Tony Wagner
November 7, 2014

Dr. Tony Wagner, educator and author of several books including "Creating Innovators" and "The Global Achievement Gap," visited the PA campus to talk about how schools can develop cultures of innovation and inspire their students to become innovators.




Chris Hughes '02
April 22, 2014

In addition to giving a moving ASM talk about his own Andover experience, Chris Hughes, Facebook co-founder and architect of the social media strategy for Barak Obama's  first presidential campaign, also taught two master classes, spearheaded a lunchtime Q&A, and advised the Phillipian staffers on the future of journalism.


Sunita Williams
April 16, 2014

NASA Astronaut Sunita Williams was the featured ASM speaker for PA's Earth Day celebration.



Drew Faust
April 15, 2014

Nearly 1,000 people attended an evening conversation with Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust and filmmaker Ric Burns about how the staggering death toll of the Civil War transformed America. The event, organized by Head of School John Palfrey, was done in partnership with the Andover Historical Society.



Jessica Livingston ’89 and Alexis Ohanian
December 9, 2013

Y Combinator cofounder Jessica Livingston ’89 and and Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian held a conversation in the Mural Room on December 9, 2013. They discussed Ohanian’s new book, Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed (a Wall Street Journal best seller), and shared thoughts on the role of the Web and digital tools in building start-ups, fueling successful entrepreneurs, and igniting online movements.

Sal Khan
May 9, 2013

Sal Khan, the mastermind behind the ever-evolving Khan Academy, brought his lessons live to PA on Thursday. Faculty, students and educators from nearby schools also joined the conversation.



April 6, 2013

Pentatonix brought their modern a cappella sound to Cochran Chapel for an mesmerizing performance of pop favorites for students and alumni. The group became famous for winning NBC's "The Sing Off" and are currently touring across the country. Kevin Olusola '06 is the group's beat boxer and wowed the crowd with a solo cello-boxing piece during the set. Pentatonix also taught a vocal master class with current students the next day.

Olivia Wilde '02
February, 2013

PA students flocked to Cochran Chapel  for a talk by actress Olivia Wilde '02, who returned to campus to talk about her involvement in the PBS documentary "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide." During her talk, Olivia talked about her years at Andover, her path to fame, and her passion for using her success to make a positive difference in the world.



Jeb Bush '71
October 3, 2012

Students got to hear contrasting perspectives on the 2012 U.S. presidential race thanks to the Kaleidoscope Speakers program, which brought in Democrat Dee Dee Myers and Republican Jeb Bush '71 to address the topic.



Dee Dee Meyers
September 27, 2012

Students got to hear contrasting perspectives on the 2012 U.S. presidential race thanks to the Kaleidoscope Speakers program, which brought in Democrat Dee Dee Myers and Republican Jeb Bush '71 to address the topic.




Spike LeeSpike Lee
January 18, 2010

Spike Lee spoke was the keynote speaker for PA's 20th anniversary Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.

Soledad O'BrienSoledad O'Brien
April 3, 2009

CNN journalist Soledad O'Brien was welcomed to campus to speak as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of Phillips Academy's Afro-Latino-American Society. O’Brien’s most recent projects include CNN Presents: Black in America, which focused on the state of Black America 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; CNN Presents: Escape from Jonestown; and continued post-Katrina coverage of New Orleans.

Mark Morris
March 3, 2009

Mark Morris, one of the greatest choreographers of our time, granted permission for the Andover Dance Group to perform a piece of his work. Morris came to campus to oversee a rehearsal of Bedtime and Other Dances and participate in a question-and-answer session moderated by Mikko Nissinen, artistic director of the Boston Ballet.


Ben CarsonDr. Benjamin Carson
January 19, 2009

Dr. Benjamin Carson served as the keynote speaker at Andover's MLK Jr. Day celebration. His speech open the day's ceremonies that featured over 20 workshops and community service projects. Dr. Carson is one of the world’s foremost pediatric neurosurgeons, a recipient of numerous honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the author of several books.

David HalberstamDavid Halberstam
Oct. 26, 2005

Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Halberstam came to Andover to speak on history, Iraq, politics and sports in general before signing copies of his book, The Education of a Coach, about PA alum Bill Belichick. All proceeds from books purchased through the signing were donated to the school’s Disaster Relief Fund.


Ernie AdamsErnie Adams '71
Oct. 26, 2005

Andover alum Ernie Adams joined author David Halberstam for his talk and signing of The Education of a Coach. Adams is the Director of Football Research for the New England Patriots and has won three Super Bowl rings with the book's subject and fellow alum, Bill Belichick.


Ralph NaderRalph Nader
April 22, 2005

Ralph Nader, the renowned consumer advocate and three-time presidential candidate addressed students, faculty and staff at Cochran Chapel. His lecture focused on consumer rights, roles of major corporations and politics.

Julia AlvarezJulia Alvarez '67
Oct. 8 , 2003

Critically acclaimed poet and novelist Julia Alvarez '67 spoke Oct. 8, 2003, at an all-school meeting and a senior-faculty banquet about her start as a writer in Jean St. Pierre's literature class at Abbot Academy.

Archbishop Desmond TutuArchbishop Desmond Tutu
May 18, 2003

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, recipient of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, discussed "The Pursuit of International Justice" at a special interfaith service May 18, 2003, in Cochran Chapel. The service included musical selections by the Academy Symphony Orchestra and the Phillips Academy Gospel Choir, as well as readings from the Old and New Testaments and the Koran.

George BushFormer President George Bush '42
April 26 , 2003

A frequent visitor to campus, former President George Bush, Class of 1942, spoke at a special ceremony April 26, 2003, in Cochran Chapel, marking the 225th anniversary of Phillips Academy, the 175th anniversary of the founding of Abbot Academy and the successful conclusion of Campaign Andover. He previously attended his 60th class reunion June 8, 2002.

Wynton MarsalisWynton Marsalis
March 6, 2003

Legendary jazz trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis spent a day on campus March 6, 2003, conducting a master class with the Academy Jazz Band and Ensembles. The visit was capped with a spectacular performance by the Grammy award-winning Wynton Marsalis Septet that brought students, faculty and residents of the surrounding communities to their feet with cheers.

Peter JenningsPeter Jennings and Todd Brewster
Sept. 22, 2002

What does it mean to be American? What about America is worth fighting for or worth dying for? Why have American principles endured for more than 225 years? ABC News anchor Peter Jennings and co-author Todd Brewster examined these and other questions considered in their book, In Search of America, during an interfaith service at Phillips Academy's Cochran Chapel, Sept. 22, 2002. The service included Christian, Jewish and Muslim readings and music performed by Phillips Academy faculty and students. Following the service, Jennings and Brewster signed books on the chapel lawn.

Bill BelichickBill Belichick '71
Feb. 27, 2002

After his first Super Bowl win, New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, Class of 1971, returned Feb. 27, 2002, to his alma mater, where enthusiastic students and faculty celebrated "Coach Bill Belichick Day."


Yo-Yo MaYo-Yo Ma
Oct. 6, 2000

The Phillips Academy orchestra accompanied cellist Yo-Yo Ma in concert Oct. 6, 2000, in Cochran Chapel. Earlier that day, the world-renowned musician led a master class, demonstrating his breathtaking technique.

Alumnus Oliver Wendell Holmes, poet, literary leader, and doctor, wrote his 1878 poem, The School-Boy, about Andover.

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