March 21, 2018

Embracing Knowledge & Goodness

Andover’s new $400 million campaign seeks to inspire—and unite—alumni, parents, and friends worldwide
by Matthew Bellico

Phillips Academy boldly launched Knowledge & Goodness: The Andover Campaign in September. This landmark endeavor is the most ambitious campaign in Academy history and the largest among all independent schools.

Through the campaign, Andover will raise $400 million for priorities vital to its distinctive mission and vision for the future. Together, campaign donors have the power to elevate the student experience, enhance our beautiful campus, and connect our global community in new and exciting ways.

The Academy will invest in need-based financial aid, in innovations in teaching and learning, and in state-of-the-art facilities that will expand the mind and restore the body. The campaign will touch every aspect of campus life and transform the face of education for tomorrow’s learners and leaders.

Head of School John G. Palfrey, P’21, has called Knowledge & Goodness “nothing short of historic” and will lead this initiative with the campaign’s three chairs: Joseph Y. Bae ’90; Peter L.S. Currie ’74, P’03; and Amy C. Falls ’82, P’19, ’21.

Below, the chairs share their thoughts about the campaign’s fundraising priorities and widespread impact.

Campaign Chairs Peter L.S. Currie ’74 P’03; Amy Falls ’82, P’19, ’21; Joseph Y. Bae ’90

The campaign’s title, Knowledge & Goodness, invokes the Academy’s founding constitution. What is the significance behind the choice?

Joseph Bae: The terms knowledge and goodness are embedded in the core mission of Andover, which is to provide an education and experience that helps develop the next generation. We want Andover graduates to enter the workforce, their communities, and the world as leaders. And to me, that’s what Knowledge & Goodness is about. It’s not just a set of values in terms of morality, but it is really about how education and being part of this Andover family positions you as a leader going forward.

Amy Falls: Andover was founded with the view that good citizenship is something that needs to be nurtured. I think values like knowledge and goodness are in some ways obvious. But in practice, they can be really hard. So we want to channel the intelligence, passion, and public service of our students. Teaching young people how to tackle complex problems with meaning and purpose is very important.

The campaign is therefore crucial because as Andover tries to live up to its own aspirations, those aspirations become very resource intensive. We have to keep investing in the Academy to be able to deliver on our ideals. Need-blind admission and financial aid immediately come to mind.

Why is need-based financial aid a vital campaign priority?

Peter Currie: Alumni, trustees, and parents view need-blind admission as a critical part of the definition of “youth from every quarter.” We’re all committed to it. But it’s expensive. The question is: What can we do? We need to make sure that financial aid is more fully endowed at the Academy. Through the campaign, we’re hoping to raise $110.5 million for this priority and endow 80 percent of our student aid program.

Joseph Bae: Financial aid is also the bedrock of what creates our diverse community on campus today. Our commitment to need-blind admission in 2008 was a seminal moment. For individuals who receive financial aid like I did, it’s obviously a life-changing moment—when you have access to an exceptional place like Andover.

For the Academy, the benefits are enormous as well. We have the chance to find some of the most gifted, curious students from all corners of the United States and the world. That creates a very different experience today than perhaps 20 or 30 years ago, both in terms of the demographics of today’s kids and the diversity of experiences that they bring to campus. With over half the kids at Andover now receiving financial aid, it is an enormous commitment that the institution has made to support this program.

We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress in engaging the Andover community of alumni, parents, and friends, and our students and faculty are experiencing the impact of this campaign firsthand.

Joseph Bae ’90 Campaign Chair

Can you share more about the building projects the campaign will make possible? Why are these projects a special focus of Knowledge & Goodness?

Amy Falls: Andover has always prioritized people: our talented students and world-class faculty. But there comes a time when you have to have adequate facilities so that they don’t become a hindrance to what you’re trying to accomplish. The building projects we’ve identified, particularly for the library, athletics, and music, are infrastructure enhancements that will enable us to better serve our students and faculty and the aspirations we have.

Peter Currie: The Oliver Wendell Holmes Library renovation is significant here—not only for the monetary investment we’ll make as an Academy, but also for the impact we’ll see as a result. The last renovation occurred before the Internet, and today we have a fantastic opportunity before us.

Libraries were, historically, a warehouse of volumes. And libraries competed based on how many volumes they had. But that’s not the right way to think about a library anymore. There will always be books and there will always be quiet study spaces, but the library is actually more of a community hub. We want to create more communal and multiuse spaces and integrate classrooms for cross-disciplinary teaching. The Tang Institute will have a new home there, and Andover’s Archives and Special Collections, including the Knafel Map Collection, will be much more prominent. Similarly, the makerspace, or “Nest,” will double in size and incorporate a new robotics lab.

All these changes will facilitate the concept of “connected learning.” We’ll create a smarter structure that places agency in the hands of our students and faculty, giving them the tools to collaborate and explore advanced concepts together.

How will other campus enhancements, such as the proposed music building, enrich the student experience?

Joseph Bae: This is another project that has long been necessary. We have such a vibrant music and performance program at Andover, and today we are using many of the same facilities we had when I was a student in the 1980s. A large number of today’s students count the performing arts as a major part of their extracurricular activities, and there’s a growing need within our community for more practice rooms, better performance venues, and better teaching spaces. Our goal is to build a first-rate music facility that allows our students to fully optimize their passion for and interest in the arts.

The Andover community can also expect to see a new aquatics center rise on campus thanks to the Knowledge & Goodness campaign. As with the OWHL renovation and the new music building, the aquatics center fulfills a distinct need. We want to give our students the best education and experience possible, and we need to ensure that our facilities give them every opportunity to learn and to succeed.

Our Fundraising Goals     |   $400 million

Campus Buildings | $118.5 million

Financial Aid  | $110.5 million

Andover Fund  |  $85 million

Tang Institute  |  $25 million

Learning in the World  |  $16 million

Faculty and the Academic Enterprise  |  $15 million

Equity and Inclusion   |  $10 million

Health and Wellness   |   $10 million

Museums   |  $10 million

What will the campaign mean for Andover’s commitment to academic excellence?

Amy Falls: We have more than 200 faculty members here at Andover. They are among the finest in the world, and they constantly engage our kids and challenge them in the learning process, whether that is in the classroom, in the lab, on stage, or on the playing field. And Andover, if it wants to retain that excellence, can’t be stagnant.

This applies to our investments in our teachers as much as any other area of the Academy, and it’s why the campaign seeks to strengthen faculty support. We will create new teaching foundations and faculty innovation funds. We will promote original research and seek interdisciplinary perspectives. We’ll work to ensure Andover continues to lead in the broader educational landscape. These are investments made to deliver on the Academy’s 240-year-old promise, though in today’s very different world.

Peter Currie: The Addison Gallery of American Art, the Peabody Institute of Archaeology, and the Tang Institute are all integral to Andover’s vision of academic excellence as well. These are resources that no school can match. For example, with the Tang Institute we now essentially have a lab to think about different modes of pedagogy. And we have the tools to implement these ideas on campus and around the world through our partnerships, such as the one we’ve forged with Khan Academy.

Andover is on the rise, yet we can make an absolutely compelling case for need. The underlying work that’s being done at Andover, that this campaign will support, is essential. Every donation is being put to good use, and every investment is being well managed.

How is the Knowledge & Goodness campaign already making an impact at the Academy?

Joseph Bae: We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress in engaging the Andover community of alumni, parents, and friends, and our students and faculty are experiencing the impact of this campaign firsthand.

The new Snyder Center is a great example of this. Our state-of-the-art athletic complex was made possible by early campaign gifts, and it’s a wonderful and tangible expression of our campaign. The Snyder Center opened earlier this winter and features a 200-meter track, 12 squash courts, and multiuse space for tennis, basketball, and many other sports. It’s an excellent facility—and I hear the students simply love it. It’s great to see.

Peter Currie: The new Sykes Wellness Center was also funded through initial campaign support, and it’s been a terrific addition to campus, combining medical and psychological services in one central location. But it’s more than just the building—the programmatic elements around the Sykes Wellness Center are providing the life skills kids need.

You can’t pick up a magazine or newspaper without reading some article on the stress that kids are undergoing. It’s an unhappy situation, but the fact of the matter is that we need to teach kids coping skills, and we need to do that at Andover. And one of these lifelong skills, in addition to being independent and an independent thinker, is managing stress. The Sykes Wellness Center is doing an excellent job taking care of today’s students, and that’s all possible because of campaign support.

How can everyone be part of Knowledge & Goodness?

Amy Falls: This campaign is very much about breadth, and we will not achieve our goals unless a very large percentage of our community participates. This is why supporting the Andover Fund is a key priority in the campaign. Loyal giving—donating to the Academy each and every year—through the Andover Fund is a great way to become involved.

More than anything, we need the Andover community to come together and help the institution fulfill its promise. For many of us, the Academy is frozen in time. But it’s constantly evolving, and I invite everyone to learn about and experience Andover today.

Joseph Bae: The Academy is indeed evolving. And our Alumni Council is continuing to tell this story and broaden engagement around the country and the world. We want alumni, parents, and friends to attend events in their region and have a substantive dialogue with us—and perhaps, for some, to reconnect with Andover for the first time in a long time.

Peter Currie: I think it’s important to think of the work that needs to be done for today’s students and for society. And maybe that gets us back to knowledge and goodness. Every time I pick up the Andover constitution or quote from it, I’m struck by the foresight of our founders. The Academy is still living these values. Andover continues to combine knowledge and goodness in the right ways today.

Categories: Leadership, Philanthropy

Other Stories

​A Phillips Academy classroom goes abroad

PA faculty are partnering with SYA to pilot a hybrid calculus course to students in Spain—and feedback is encouraging

Mindfulness Instructor to Visit Andover

Join Alison Cohen to explore mindfulness in daily life on January 9 and 10