PA Seeks Public Emphasis Of Non Sibi, Other Values

Phillips Academy aims to base its new communications plan on a reaffirmation of the school’s values, with input from the entire community. Head of School Barbara Chase believes that reaffirming Phillips Academy’s values is an ongoing project. She said, “It’s really challenging because almost everybody agrees with honesty, hard work, service.” She continued, “The question is more how they’re emphasized or how they’re balanced sometimes, if they’re in competition with one another, or how they’re reflected in certain things. I mean, a great example has been the conversation about the discipline and how that reflects to what degree we care about honesty above all else.” “Non sibi and youth from every quarter have always been two of the guiding principles of the school and still are guiding principles. It is important to maintain continuity; it is comforting,” said Gerri Weiss ’82. The ideal of non sibi is emphasized in one of the giving “societies.” Alumni are admitted to these groups based on the amounts of money they donate to the school. Ann Harris, Director of Class Reunion and Parent Giving for the Office of Academy Resources (OAR), wrote, “About 25 years ago, [Non Sibi] was established as a giving society for those who made leadership gifts [which, at that time, were of $1,000 or more] to the academy in one fiscal year.” In 2006, the requirement to become a Non Sibi giver was increased from $1,000 to $1,776. The new value mirrors the year Phillips Academy was founded. Harris attributes the increase to “the passage of time” and also acknowledged that the change was made after extensive discussion among alumni volunteers. This program was expanded so that younger alumni, who may be early in their career stages and make less money than older alumni, could take part in the program. “About 11% of donors to the Andover Fund were members of the Non Sibi Association in FY07; they gave about 65% of the total dollars raised in the Andover Fund,” wrote Harris. This money is what, in part, covers the cost of a Phillips Academy education, which is not fully covered by tuition. The value of non sibi was also underscored when it became the theme of Non Sibi Day. The day was created as part of an Alumni specific strategic-type plan. Although Non Sibi Day was not directly created because of the Strategic plan, there are many parallels between the Alumni strategic plan and the school’s strategic plan. Chad Green, Director of Community Service, said “Non Sibi Day really came about as people collaborated from the Alumni office and eventually asked me to help the day become an event here [at PA].”