How We Practice Non Sibi

The Latin phrase non sibi (look for it on our school seal) translates as “not for self”; it’s a motto we take very seriously. Andover is a private school with a public purpose. We believe that education gains value when you bring it into the world, find ways to put it to use on behalf of the public good. Our Office of Community Engagement nurtures the non sibi spirit in our students, overseeing dozens of ongoing initiatives on campus and with partner organizations in the town of Andover and neighboring Lawrence, Mass.

Most students choose to join a community engagement program at some point during their time at Andover. Volunteering isn’t required, but it’s part of who we are. It’s about understanding the experience of other people, sharing your own experience, and building a new shared experience together. Students lead many of the programs. They recruit peers, keep volunteers informed, and plan program lessons. Community engagement experiences at Andover can form a solid foundation for meaningful involvement in the students’ future communities, wherever they may be.

Special Events

Throughout the year, one-day projects and events are open to the entire student body. A number of on-campus clubs also sponsor events throughout the year. Sign-ups for these events are announced via PAnet, the Academy’s intranet. The Community Engagement Office also is happy to facilitate one-time projects for athletic teams, dormitories, advisories, or any other group of Phillips Academy community members.

Bread & Roses Picnic

Students, faculty, and staff host this picnic for 150 guests from the Bread & Roses community kitchen each year. This picnic allows PA students to engage and interact with people from all ages and walks of life in a festive and relaxed atmosphere. Students plan and host games and activities, from chess and checkers to face painting and football. In addition to coordinating live musical events, including karaoke, students also cook and serve the entire meal. This picnic has a long tradition and is a cherished celebration of the friendship between Bread & Roses and PA.

Non Sibi Weekend

Non Sibi Weekend (NSW) is a weekend of awareness, action, and reflection for the Phillips Academy community.  While meeting genuine needs identified by our community partner organizations, the Community Engagement Office seeks to provide participants with meaningful opportunities to learn about social issues and ways to work cooperatively with partners to address them. Classes and athletic practices are cancelled on the Friday of NSW.

Juniors work with organizations that address the needs of children and families, lowers focus on the environment, uppers learn about health and hunger, and seniors get a closer look at homelessness and housing. These are the social issues addressed throughout PA’s yearlong programming, making it easier to connect NSW activities to the Community Engagement Office’s ongoing work.

Ongoing Community Engagement Initiatives
  • Science Club for Girls
  • Academy Manor Nursing Home
  • Youth Development Organization
  • AdoptaPlatoon
  • Sí, Se Puede
  • Bread & Roses
  • Coding Circle
  • Andover Bread Loaf Pen Pal Program
  • Jumpstart
  • Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
  • Project VOICE & ESL
  • Andover-Lawrence Strings Program


 of PA students volunteer in community engagement programs


"You have to think about why you're volunteering. If you have a high-and-mighty attitude, or if you think the point is to impart your goodness on the world—that won't get you far. You know, I went in with all these ideas, all these plans. And I've had to learn how to be flexible."

The entire PA community comes together on Non Sibi Weekend to give back to campus and local communities.