January 14, 2019

Abbot Academy Fund spotlights dance

“Extraordinary act of generosity” to the Pan Athletic Center honors a unique legacy

A milestone gift to Phillips Academy’s Knowledge & Goodness campaign highlights both the legacy of Abbot Academy and a program with deep roots across generations.

Head of School John Palfrey P’21 and President of the Abbot Academy Fund (AAF) Aisha Jorge Massengill ’88 recently announced a $2.5 million gift from the fund to name the dance suite of the highly anticipated Pan Athletic Center (PAC).

“We are thrilled to present this gift to Phillips Academy. Guided by the traditions and ideals of Abbot Academy, we wanted to be intentional about our purpose in this historic campaign,” said Massengill. “Abbot Academy brought dance to Phillips Academy when the schools merged in 1973. Forty-six years later, it is fitting that Abbot will bring dance to this magnificent new building.”

We hope this gift will keep the Abbot flame in the collective consciousness of the Abbot and Andover communities for generations to come.

Aisha Jorge Massengill ’88 President of the Abbot Academy Fund (AAF)

Palfrey, who met with members of the AAF to express his personal gratitude, said their commitment is further evidence of Abbot’s continued presence in the lives of Andover students.

“What an extraordinary act of generosity by a group of deeply devoted alumnae and alumni. Their gift presents new possibilities for our dance program and is an inspiring connection from Abbot to Andover today,” he said. 

A rendering of the new PAC Dance Studio. Courtesy Stanmar Inc./Dimella Shaffer

With this latest support, fundraising for the Pan Athletic Center stands at $31 million toward a $34.5 million goal. The future home for dance, swimming, diving, wrestling, and the Athletics Hall of Honor, the PAC is the second of a three-phase approach to transform the school’s athletic facilities. The first of these projects, the Snyder Center, opened in January 2018.

The Abbot Academy Fund provides support for members of the Andover community to develop projects and programs consistent with the traditions and ideals of Abbot Academy. Since the first grant was awarded in 1973, there have been more than 1,500 proposals accepted and nearly $11 million distributed.

“Doing our part for the Knowledge & Goodness campaign in the name of Abbot is a wonderful reminder of how Andover’s future is so bright,” Massengill added. “We hope this gift will keep the Abbot flame in the collective consciousness of the Abbot and Andover communities for generations to come.” 


Pictured above: Alexandra Godfrey in Dance Studio at Abbot Academy, 1972. Photograph by Amy Broaddus courtesy of Phillips Academy Archives. 

Categories: Arts, Philanthropy, Campaign News

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