December 13, 2021

Andover Financial Aid Challenge eclipses initial target

New matching funds available as Knowledge & Goodness sparks campus impact
by Matthew Bellico

The Andover Financial Aid Challenge officially surpassed its ambitious goal in November by generating more than $20 million in new scholarship commitments for Phillips Academy students.

Launched in fall 2019, the challenge offered the PA community a 3:1 dollar match for those wishing to create endowed scholarships at the school—and 64 generous alumni and parents took advantage of the $6.5 million in matching funds. In total, the challenge accounts for nearly a quarter of the $110 million being raised for student aid through the Knowledge & Goodness campaign, which is now in its decisive phase.

“We are tremendously grateful for the enthusiastic and inspiring response from the Andover family,” says Board President Amy C. Falls ’82 P’19, ’21. “Their philanthropy will reverberate across generations and provide life-changing opportunities for students long into the future. These are transformational gifts in every respect.”

A small group of leadership donors funded the challenge—with the aim to further spur investment in the permanent financial aid resources that make need-blind admission possible. Since 2008, the Academy has led all independent schools with this comprehensive policy, but every year PA enters serious discussions on how to pay for it. Andover admits students based solely on their talents and then meets their full demonstrated need, this year providing more than $24 million in grants that never need to be repaid.

Knowledge & Goodness seeks to endow 80 percent of Andover’s annual financial aid budget, thus bringing this commitment closer to longer-term sustainability—and the challenge fund donors played a crucial role toward this end.

The challenge also sought to ensure more alumni and parents than ever before had a chance to endow a partial or full scholarship at Andover, and this was achieved as well.

Forty-three donors made their first endowed gift to the Academy through the challenge, and participation was widespread. Alumni representing Phillips and Abbot classes of 1938 to 2004 had their leadership gifts matched, reflecting a multigenerational pledge to welcome and educate “youth from every quarter.” Moreover, PA parents accounted for nearly 20 percent of all challenge gifts, a powerful endorsement from those who see their students benefiting from today’s Andover experience. Overall, alumni and parent gifts ranged from $187,000 to $1 million, with six donors crossing this threshold.

Challenge Continues with $1.5 Million in Matches

In fact, the challenge’s success has led to a second window of opportunity.

A generous donor, inspired by the initiative, recently contributed an additional $1.5 million in matching funds for those who are interested. The same 3:1 dollar match applies and will further boost the school’s financial aid priority. It’s reflective of the Andover family’s spirit in particular and the campaign’s resonance more broadly.

Knowledge & Goodness is making a tremendous difference for our students and faculty today—and positioning the Academy for a bright future in the decades to come,” says Head of School Raynard S. Kington, MD, PhD, P’24. “This can be seen in our financial aid challenge and in the widespread support that is elevating nearly every facet of the Andover experience.”

Campaign Momentum on the Rise

Currently, Knowledge & Goodness has raised more than $339 million toward its $400 million goal, and the campaign’s ongoing impact can be seen across the Academy.

The Pan Athletic Center is on track to welcome students for fall term 2022 and will house a state-of-the-art swimming and diving complex as well as new spaces for wrestling, dance, and the Andover Athletics Hall of Honor. Meanwhile funding for a new 30,000-square-foot music building is in the final stages, with less than $5 million remaining to goal. The planned facility will be the first new academic building constructed on campus in two decades and will feature a 250-seat performance hall, three classrooms, 19 practice rooms, flexible ensemble spaces, and a recording studio, among other amenities.

The campaign also continues to fuel academic excellence and faculty support. Whether through new teaching foundations and instructorships or professional development funds, donors are expanding opportunities for growth, original research, and interdisciplinary perspectives. The Tang Institute remains preeminent in this area by debuting innovative, theme-based courses, such as The Workshop; evolving the Tang Fellows program; and forging partnerships with other academic entities nationwide.

In addition, the Knowledge & Goodness campaign is advancing equity and inclusion on campus, so too community health and wellness. The Addison Gallery of American Art and the Peabody Institute of Archaeology remain beneficiaries of important investments as well.

“There is a place for everyone in our campaign,” says Kington, “and I am most grateful for all who, through their participation and generosity, choose to advance our distinctive mission.”

To learn more about the Andover Financial Aid Challenge, please contact Nicole Cherubini, director of development, at 978-749-4288 or [email protected].

Other Stories

Music Hall Performance Space Rendering
Cue the music!

Andover students to practice, perform, and create at Falls Hall

Merrilee Mardon
Merrilee Mardon named deputy head of school

She will begin new role this summer