Abbot Academy Fund


June 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the Abbot Academy Fund (AAF)! To commemorate this milestone, the AAF produced a film—Dream It, Do It: The Abbot Academy Fund’s First Fifty Years—that reflects on the spirit in which the AAF was established, and explores the impact that AAF-funded projects have had on the Phillips Academy community and beyond. The 14-minute documentary, which was filmed largely on campus with the participation of current students, was directed by Alexandra Morrow ’12. We’d love your feedback; please send comments to [email protected].


Since the fall of 1973, the Abbot Academy Fund has awarded grants for a wide range of projects and programs. Anyone in the Phillips Academy community—current students, faculty, and staff—can apply for an AAF grant.

The AAF Board of Directors (see below) reviews applications twice a year, during the fall and spring terms. As part of its process to decide whether to fully or partially fund a grant, the board considers a number of factors, including:

  • The proposed project’s potential to benefit the quality of life at Phillips Academy;
  • The extent to which the project embodies AAF values, including boldness, innovation, and caring;
  • The project’s capacity to sustain itself long-term (grants for the same project are given for a maximum of 3 years);
  • The proposal’s quality, including such details as completeness, thoughtful research and planning, a precise budget, and articulating a clear purpose.


The AAF is governed by a Board of Directors made up of Abbot Academy and Phillips Academy alumni. Each director serves up to two three-year terms. The Board Nominating Committee recruits candidates for the board once a year.

If you’re interested in learning more about the role and duties of the AAF Board of Directors, contact a current board member (see below) or Belinda Traub.

Fast Facts


grants awarded

15 million

dollars awarded


grants funded per cycle, on average (since 2000)


percent of grants awarded to students (since 2009)


Over the past 50 years, more than 2300 proposals have been submitted by students and members of the Phillips Academy faculty, staff, and administration. In addition to funding nearly 75 percent of these proposals, the Abbot Academy Fund boards have granted more than $4,000,000 in recent years to fund Phillips Academy scholarships and capital projects.

To learn more about the kinds of information applicants must provide, click below to view some recent proposals that the board approved for funding.

You can also download a spreadsheet that lists each grant, the year the grant was given, its proposer (if known), and a brief description. Proposals are grouped into sheets by decade.


Current Phillips Academy students, faculty, and staff can find information about the grant process and the grant application in the Abbot Academy Fund space on PAnet.

For more information, contact Belinda Traub, Abbot Academy Fund coordinator.

Garden of Eaton. Photo by Kurt Silverman ’75

Board of Directors

Meet the alumni currently on the AAF board.

Lisanne “Lissy” Abraham ’74

Director, Abbot Academy Fund.

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Jesse Bardo ’03

Director, Abbot Academy Fund.

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Elizabeth Artz Beim ’58

Director, Abbot Academy Fund.

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Sanjiv Desai ’89, P’24

Miami, FL

Carol Donnelly ’58

Director, Abbot Academy Fund

Elizabeth Humstone ’66

President, Abbot Academy Fund

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Elisa Istueta ’89

Director, Abbot Academy Fund.

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Willie Ivey ’68

Director, Abbot Academy Fund.

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Priscilla Martel ’74

Director, Abbot Academy Fund

Cristina Rubio ’81

Director, Abbot Academy Fund.

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Willie Tate ’90

Director, Abbot Academy Fund