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Phillips Academy’s historic campaign effort tops $300M goal

Student scholarships and faculty development chief among priorities

November 30, 2012 -- Phillips Academy has raised $302.7 million in support of students, faculty and campus facilities, surpassing its original goal of $300 million, and marking the largest campaign effort in school history. The announcement was made jointly by Oscar Tang ’56, chair of The Campaign for Andover, Building on the Surest Foundation, and Peter Currie ’74, president of the Board of Trustees.

The campaign, which began a “silent phase” in July 2005 and launched publicly in November 2009, has been a catalyst for access and opportunity. It will conclude December 31, 2012. Financial aid for students, support for faculty salaries and professional development, and stewardship of campus facilities have been cornerstones of this effort.

“I am so proud of what we have achieved, and I am deeply grateful to the thousands of alumni, parents, and friends who have made this possible,” said Tang, also acknowledging honorary cochairs, David Underwood ’54 and Donna Brace Ogilvie ’30. Campaign commitments from more than 16,000 donors include support from 65 percent of alumni.

Funding for student scholarships and financial aid exceeds $92 million, far outpacing any other campaign priority. “Clearly alumni and parents felt compelled by our case that financial circumstances should have no bearing on whether a student can attend Andover. If they have the promise, the qualifications, and the motivation, then Andover should open its doors,” said Jim Ventre ’79, interim dean of admission and director of financial aid. A full scholarship student himself while attending Andover, Ventre continues to speak with alumni and parents about the importance of their support.

Andover’s need-blind admission policy began with the entering class of 2008; yet one year later, as global economic uncertainty took hold, its future was uncertain. Andover prevailed, said Peter Currie, thanks to strong leadership and the generosity of alumni and parents, who despite their own financial difficulties, kept Andover high among their philanthropic priorities. “I am convinced that our donors committed to the campaign because they believe deeply in the lifelong value of an Andover education,” said Currie. Also anchoring the campaign at a total of $74 million over seven-and-a-half years is the Andover Fund, which provides annual resources for priorities that span the academic program, facilities, and technology needs. “Representing approximately 11 percent of the annual budget, the Andover Fund is a major factor in the Academy’s ability to sustain an exceptional program,” said Trustee Steve Sherrill ’71, chair of the Academy Resources Committee. The fund unites generations of alumni, parents, and friends, whose commitments range from $10 to more than $100,000 in any given year.

The campaign has made a difference in the lives of students and faculty and enhanced the physical campus:

Academic excellence: Andover leads peer schools in faculty compensation and has continued to invest in its teachers’ professional development and global education with research-based and service-learning trips abroad. Support directed toward teaching foundations, instructorships, and sabbaticals has strengthened Andover’s commitment to recruit and retain the most talented teachers and scholars.

Preserving Andover’s historic campus: From Paresky Commons and the Andover Inn to the Addison Gallery of American Art and the R.S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, the campaign has played a visible role in the improvement of a distinctive physical plant. The new Brown Boathouse was dedicated on September 23, and a renovated Bulfinch Hall is scheduled to reopen in January.

Learning experiences beyond Andover: From language immersion to service learning in the U.S. and abroad, the Academy has long believed that all students should have the opportunity to extend themselves (and their education) beyond Andover Hill. While the economic downturn forced the Academy to scale back such programs, the creation of endowed funds has allowed many to resume.

Educational Outreach: A private school seeking to advance the broader world of secondary education, Andover supports four core programs and two museums that engage neighboring towns, and that reach students and educators afar -- Andover Bread Loaf writing program, Institute for Recruitment of Teachers, Math and Science for Minority Students (MS)2, PALS mentoring program, the Addison Gallery, and Peabody Museum all garnered strong donor support.

Recently retired head of school Barbara Landis Chase, whose leadership spanned the majority of the campaign, reflected on the breadth of the effort in thanking “those who gave and asked others to give; those who planned and worked in the trenches; those who stood behind this effort with loyalty.” Secretary of the Academy Peter Ramsey echoed Chase’s comments, thanking the Office of Academy Resources team and the hundreds of volunteers who “devoted enormous amounts of time and energy to this campaign and all that it represents for Andover.”

Head of School John Palfrey remarked on the ways in which the campaign has provided a superb platform for developing the school’s next strategic vision: an intentionally diverse student body, faculty who bring a range of cultures, experiences, and pedagogy to their classrooms, top rate facilities, and a spirit of non sibi that permeates the community.

“Andover is wonderfully positioned to be a leader in a new era of education – one that is mediated by technology and enlivened by globalization,” said Palfrey. “The success of the campaign, the talent and motivation of our faculty, and the dedication of our alumni and parents give us the confidence to pursue even higher goals. Andover can and will focus on innovation in a digital and global age…We will participate in the education conversation and be part of coming up with solutions to shared problems.

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Contact Info

  • Tracy Sweet, Director of Academy Communications
  • 978-749-4313
  • Email »
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