Amy Falls
June 09, 2022

The final stretch

Finding inspiration and opportunity in the Knowledge & Goodness campaign’s decisive phase

Momentum is cresting—and Andover is close to culminating its landmark $400 million Knowledge & Goodness campaign. With less than $35 million to go, Board of Trustees President Amy C. Falls ’82, P’19, ’21, shares her candid thoughts on the campaign’s progress, the critical work that still remains, and the extraordinary impact of the global Andover family throughout one of the most expansive fund­raising endeavors in independent school history.

What are the focal points of the Knowledge & Goodness campaign at this moment?

There are a few, namely financial aid, the proposed music building, and faculty support. Number one for us is endowing 80 percent of our financial aid program—thus undergirding Andover’s need-blind admission promise for the long-term future and preserving our position as a national leader in this crucial area.

Today, 47 percent of Andover stu­dents receive financial aid, and we’re providing $24.5 million in assistance this year alone. It’s only sustainable if we have a robustly endowed base, because it more readily enables the Academy to make up the balance with annual gifts—which are essential too—and other bud­getary sources. The big picture? Andover scholarships leave our young people un­encumbered by debt as they pursue their path to meaningful adulthood.

How will investments in facilities and faculty further strengthen the student experience?

Andover has always prioritized peo­ple over bricks and mortar, but there comes a point when you’re undermining those people if you don’t have sufficient facilities. During all phases of Knowledge & Goodness, Andover has emphasized infrastructure. This includes the ex­tensive renovation of the OWHL and, early in the campaign, the revitalization of Chase House to enhance residential life. Significantly, it’s also reflected in the construction of the Sykes Wellness Center, the Snyder Center, and the Pan Athletic Center, which will open for swimming, diving, dance, wrestling, and more this fall.

Andover’s first purpose-built structure for music will house versatile rehearsal and performance spaces, as well as classrooms, an electronic music studio, technology labs, and a music library.

Similar to those projects, building a new home for music is a necessity. We don’t have a recording studio or enough practice rooms. The proposed 30,000-square-foot structure will benefit all stu­dents, create equity, and reflect changes in technology and the way music—in all its forms—has become integral to the cur­riculum. With $17.6 million in donations, we’re getting close to our $22 million fundraising goal. Only then can we break ground and set this project in motion.

Additionally, faculty support re­mains central to our efforts. And there are numerous ways alumni, parents, and friends can continue to boost our commitment to academic excellence. Donations to the Andover Fund make a difference here, and so do leadership gifts for teaching foundations, profes­sional development funds, and more. Our instructors make an Andover edu­cation what it is, and it’s vital we invest in their unbelievable expertise as schol­ars and mentors.

As board president, I get to talk to alumni about their time at PA. I hear the same sentence over and over again, across all generations: ‘Andover changed my life.’

How are you defining success in this historic campaign?

I think success is obviously achieving the campaign’s financial objectives, but it’s much more than that. It’s reaffirm­ing the core values that have defined Knowledge & Goodness from the very beginning, including our ever-expand­ing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. We will continue to grow in this area and others because it’s intrinsic to who we are.

Moreover, we are creating consensus and excitement around the direction the Academy is taking with our head of school, Raynard Kington. We are bring­ing people together and broadening participation, because there’s a place for everyone in this campaign. It’s some­thing I’m passionate about—the chance to share why supporting our mission is so universally important, to involve our community in setting priorities, and then uniting to accomplish them.

Faculty support remains a key campaign priority, with the Academy’s instructors driving the pursuit of academic innovation and educational excellence for all students.

What continues to surprise and inspire you in these efforts?

As board president, I get to talk to alumni about their time at PA. I hear the same sentence over and over again, across all generations: “Andover changed my life.” What we’re doing, we’ve been doing a long time, and that makes it clear to me why the Academy is worth preserving and enhancing. And of course, PA’s students and faculty—their talents and heart—continue to motivate me. They are, I think, the most inspiring piece of the puzzle.

Categories: Leadership, Campaign News

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