Vista Walk with Raynard S. Kington, MD, PhD, P’24
January 12, 2022

Transformative Possibilities

Up close with Andover’s 16th Head of School

Raynard S. Kington, MD, PhD, P’24, shares his perspectives on the school’s landmark fundraising campaign and the Academy’s continuing evolution.

How does Andover’s pursuit of knowledge and goodness inform your leadership?

This phrase originates in the Academy’s constitution, of course, and it remains as resonant now as it was more than 240 years ago. To prepare our students for the demands of today’s society, it is a potent combination that contributes to a liberated mind. The pursuit of these ideals means thinking critically and seeking open-minded, often nuanced solutions to the challenges we all face, whether on Andover Hill or in the wider world. In this way, knowledge and goodness certainly informs my work, and it enlightens our students’ pursuits as well.

As our campaign enters its decisive phase, what are the remaining strategic needs for students and faculty?

We are nearing the fundraising finish line thanks to the more than 18,600 donors who are choosing to invest in our people and our campus. It’s because of their generosity that we are able to aspire to our $400 million goal—with just over $54 million to go.

Yet, more than anything, our Knowledge & Goodness campaign is about impact. And there is so much more impact we can have. Our planned music center will become the first new academic building on campus in two decades, but we still need key leadership contributions to begin construction. Gifts to our equity and inclusion priority will help us further prepare students for 21st-century citizenship. Support for academics will keep us at the forefront of curricular excellence as well as faculty recruitment and retention. Furthermore, our need to secure scholarship assistance remains paramount.

Why does financial aid remain especially critical?

Because we have an opportunity to achieve something that has never been done before—permanently secure need-blind admission at Andover. We are a leader among independent schools with this comprehensive policy. We offer approximately $24 million in financial aid annually, and it’s worth every dollar, though every year we have to carefully determine how we will pay for it.

The objective of the campaign is to endow 80 percent of our financial aid funding—the budget was only 60 percent endowed when we began. We have made excellent progress, and we look to reach our goal with final gifts in the months ahead.

What would you say to alumni and parents still seeking a meaningful way to contribute?

No matter who you are—or where your philanthropic interests lie—there is a place for you in our campaign. It is never too late to make your first gift or expand your support. There are great opportunities to match your personal affinities with our campus priorities, knowing that gifts of all sizes play an important role in this collective effort.

One of the Academy’s hallmark traits is that it does not sit comfortably with the status quo.

Raynard S. Kington, Head of School

What most excites you about Andover’s future?

One of the Academy’s hallmark traits is that it does not sit comfortably with the status quo. We’re devoted to excellence in teaching and learning and helping all students reach their full potential. For faculty, this means committing to a system of continuous improvement—assessing the curriculum, responding to the needs of our students, and encouraging evolution inside and outside the classroom.

What are your hopes for students?

We have done our best work when our students graduate as refined, yet still maturing, versions of their best selves. I hope they will follow their passions, stay true to their own values, explore and experiment with new ideas, and keep that intellectual fire burning. We never want to teach our students what to think, but rather how to think, while instilling in them a strong sense of non sibi.

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

Categories: Campaign News

Other Stories

Sam Phil with Fireworks
Phillips Academy concludes historic campaign

Andover raises a record-setting $408.9 million with nearly 20,000 donors contributing

Winner Graphic
Big Blue awards

Andover magazine, PA Giving Day & Investiture materials recognized