350 New Students Arrive at Phillips Academy for Weekend Of Orientation Activities Led By Senior Blue Key Society

Screaming and cheering, Phillips Academy welcomed 350 new students this past Saturday. The Blue Key Society kicked off orientation standing on the corner of Main and School Street, greeting new students and parents as they drove into campus. The 100 Blue Keys and 10 Blue Key Heads helped the new students settle into their dorms and led them in a series of games and activities to familiarize them with Andover. In the Cochran Chapel, Head of School Barbara Chase, the cluster deans and Phillips Academy student leaders congratulated the new students and their families on becoming a part of the Andover community. Afterward, Blue Keys met the new students on the chapel steps and led them to the Armillary Sphere on the Great Lawn to participate in their first Phillips Academy pep rally. “When I was a new student, I loved the warm greeting by the Blue Keys Society when I arrived on the steps of the chapel. The bright shirts, the flags and the cheering really made me excited to be here,” said Simone Henry ’08, West Quad South Blue Key Head. “I think the whole thing, both the Opening of School and orientation, was one of the smoothest weekends we have ever had,” said Cindy Efinger, Director of Student Activities. She said that she could not have been happier with the communication between Blue Key Heads and Blue Keys on what needed to be accomplished to make orientation a success. No major changes were made to this year’s orientation activities. “Why try to reinvent the wheel when we’ve had a system that has been successful for so many years?” said Ms. Efinger. Louisa Chafee ’09, a new Upper from Providence, R.I., agreed with Mrs. Efinger. “Driving up, I felt kind of intimidated and slightly embarrassed when I saw all the screaming Blue Keys, but everyone has been so nice here that I feel really welcomed,” she said. “As a Blue Key Head, my favorite part about orientation is welcoming all the new kids into the dorm,” said JJ McGregor ’08, Blue Key Head of Pine Knoll Cluster. “It’s cool to see the new kids and compare them to many of the students that have already graduated. When I was new, I really liked the Search and Rescue activity in the Sanctuary, but unfortunately we had thunderstorms and couldn’t do it this year.” “Staying busy with all of the activities really helped to get adjusted. My Blue Key, Sara Wallace and my proctors in Johnson made the transition a lot easier,” said Caroline Gezon ’10, a new Lower from Wilmette, Illinois. On Sunday evening, the Blue Keys accompanied the new students to their Matriculation ceremony. Due to continued bad weather, the ceremony was held in Tang Theatre, and new students missed the tradition of walking up the Great Lawn to the steps of Sam Phil. Still, they remained excited about officially matriculating into Phillips Academy. The following morning, the Blue Keys fulfilled another important duty as they brought the new students with their class schedules to the Andover Bookstore. Some students spent over an hour and a half waiting in line to buy books for all of their courses. “The bookstore was incredibly busy, and it was difficult to get around with so many people there, but it was fun because I got to see a lot of people I had never seen before. It gave me an idea of how big Andover really is,” said Annie Brown ’10, a new Lower. As Juniors tried to find their classes on Tuesday morning, the Senior class, a third of them Blue Keys, walked up the Vista with Mrs. Chase to celebrate the beginning of their final year at Phillips Academy.