Abbot Campus Gates
June 19, 2021

The Abbot Academy Fund

Innovation and boldness in action

If an Andover student can conceive it, chances are an Abbot Grant can make it a reality.

Since 1973, more than 1,700 students—and faculty and staff—have received seed money to help their academic, artistic, and altruistic ambitions come to life, with recent grants making possible a new telescope for the observatory, a student club for future health professionals, a social justice conference, and much more.

The power behind the grants is the Abbot Academy Fund, and now supporting the fund is easier than ever.

Celebrating the Abbot Spirit

AAF President Beth Humstone ’66, along with her fellow board members, recently turned the fund into one of the primary giving designations—and areas of impact—for alumnae.

“The fund has been self-sustaining since its inception,” she explains, “but we wanted to expand our reach. Now Abbot alumnae and all Andover donors can direct their gifts, including planned gifts, to the Abbot Academy Fund endowment. They can strengthen this resource and, through the fund, be instrumental partners in some essential and inspiring projects on campus.”

“The great thing about the board is that they recognize the importance of small grants just as much as the big ones,” says Erin Strong, fund liaison and instructor in theatre and dance. “The AAF prizes boldness, innovation, and caring—Abbot Academy values!”

The Abbot Academy Fund will make possible a dynamic new dance suite in the Pan Athletic Center.

These principles have been on striking display throughout the Knowledge & Goodness campaign—with the Abbot Academy Fund making a special leadership gift for the new dance suite in the Pan Athletic Center, now under construction. The largest AAF grant ever reflects a commitment to ensure a prominent space dedicated to dance on campus. It pays tribute to Abbot’s vibrant dance program and former Abbot instructor Cristina Rubio P’81, GP’12, ’17, who made the elegant leap to Andover and laid the foundation for the breadth and popularity of dance and the arts on campus today.

Earlier in the campaign, the Abbot Academy Fund also made a $200,000 capital gift to the renovation of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library. The lobby of the reimagined OWHL now prominently features Abbot Glass, the stained-glass work of art commissioned in 1987 to commemorate the school’s lessons and legacy.

Almost everywhere on campus Abbot ideals live and breathe, often because of the extraordinary scope of today’s grants. The Brace Center for Gender Studies and Andover Bread Loaf have grown and thrived thanks in part to AAF seeding. So too have the Academy’s (MS)2, IRT, and PALS Outreach programs, the Gospel Choir, Latin Arts Weekend, CAMD Scholars, and the Girls’ Science Club, which used an Abbot Grant to spearhead a successful STEM initiative in the local community.

Today Abbot Glass adorns the lobby of the renovated OWHL, which received a significant AAF grant.

An Act of Devotion

In all, more than $12 million in Abbot Grants have been awarded to date—thanks in great measure to some quick thinking when the two schools merged. At the time, Abbot Trustees Mary “Myndie” Howard Nutting ’40, Beverly Brooks Floe ’41, and Melville Chapin ’36, P’59, GP’90, ’94, ’10, acted swiftly and purposefully. They earmarked a portion of the school’s endowment to create the Abbot Academy Association—renamed the Abbot Academy Fund in 2017—to preserve the history of their beloved school and guarantee that its mission would not only live on in the hearts of its alumnae, but also become part of the lifeblood of Phillips Academy.

“We owe those devoted trustees a great deal, and it’s so satisfying to see the ‘footprints’ of Abbot around the Andover campus,” says Humstone, who recently included the AAF in her estate plans. “I hope alumnae and friends will support the Abbot Academy Fund. It’s a legacy we can be proud of—and truly enjoy in our own lifetimes.”

Donate to the Abbot Academy Fund at

Originally printed in The Vista: Views from the Knowledge & Goodness Campaign, spring 2021

Categories: Campaign News

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