May 11, 2018

Triple win for Phillips Academy

Gifts totaling $25 million will advance Athletic Facilities Master Plan and propel Knowledge & Goodness campaign
by Tracy Sweet

Phillips Academy Head of School John G. Palfrey P’21 announced today that gifts from three donors totaling $25 million will help fund a new campus athletics, dance, and aquatics center. A centerpiece of this investment is a gift from Andover parents Zhang Xin and Pan Shiyi P’17, ’19 and their sons Sean Pan ’17 and Luc Pan ’19. Along with two anonymous donors, the family’s commitment will jump-start the second phase of Andover’s Athletic Facilities Master Plan.

Named for the family, the Pan Athletic Center will house a new swimming and diving complex, dance studios, practice and competitive spaces for wrestling, locker rooms, and the Athletics Hall of Honor. With $25 million pledged toward the new facility, the Board of Trustees voted at their May 5 meeting to proceed from concept to final design. Additional funds that will cover the full cost must be raised before the board will approve the project for construction. 

Zhang said her family’s generosity stems from their appreciation for their sons’ Andover experiences and is an expression of confidence in the school as a leader in secondary education. Coming from Beijing to attend high school 6,700 miles away from home, both Sean and Luc said they felt welcomed and supported from the day they arrived—Sean in 2013 and Luc in 2015.

Their philanthropy will inspire others and help ensure that Andover remains a strong and vital leader in secondary education.

Peter L.S. Currie ’74, P’03 Board President and Campaign Co-Chair

“John Palfrey visits China on behalf of Andover every year, and he is always warmly received. He is incredibly accessible, and that is so rare—to feel he knows our children so well,” said Zhang. “During his four years at Andover, Sean transformed from a soft-spoken boy to become confident, assertive, and outgoing. There was no question we would send Luc when he was admitted.”

“We are thrilled and humbled to have the support of the Pan family and two anonymous donors for such an important initiative. Their generosity moves us closer to our vision for transformed athletics programs and health and wellness experiences for all students,” said Palfrey. “As the opening of the Snyder Center this past winter has demonstrated, these buildings are crucial to our efforts to educate the whole student—in this case by offering competitive sports, life fitness opportunities, and educational programs at the highest level.”

As envisioned in the Athletic Facilities Master Plan, the Cage and the Smith Center will be razed to make way for the Pan Athletic Center. It will overlook Phelps Park to the east and will be within steps of Borden Memorial Gymnasium to the north and Snyder Center to the south.

Board President and campaign cochair Peter L.S. Currie ’74, P’03, stated, “The Knowledge & Goodness campaign is fundamentally about attracting the best students and bringing them together with a world-class faculty on a campus that elevates mind and body. Zhang Xin and Pan Shiyi have, together with their family, made a bold investment in a new facility that will advance each of these goals.”

Currie also noted that the commitment from the Pan family represents the largest gift in Academy history from parents who are not also alumni. “Their philanthropy will inspire others and help ensure that Andover remains a strong and vital leader in secondary education,” he said.

With these commitments, Knowledge & Goodness: The Andover Campaign stands at nearly $183 million. The campaign launched in September 2017 seeking to raise $400 million, the largest fundraising effort in independent school history. In addition to new facilities and renovation projects, the campaign’s funding priorities also include student scholarships, Learning in the World programs, faculty development opportunities, and initiatives around equity and inclusion and health and wellness.

Categories: Philanthropy

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