Abbot Grants Fund An Arab-Israeli Day, A Mock Trial Competition and Ethics Society Speakers

Summer is at time for relaxation and fun, but it can also be about gearing up for next fall. The Abbot Grant Association received requests from faculty, staff and students in April for grants to fund projects that would benefit the Phillips Academy community. At a dinner on Thursday, May 8, organized by Amy Zimmerman, Abbot Academy Association Director, hopeful Abbot Grant recipients presented their proposals to a board of eight alumni who serve as directors of the Abbot Grant Association. This spring, the recipients requested a total of $274,877.55, but the Association was only able to grant $177,127.55. Daniah Missmar ’09, President of the Young Arab-American Leaders at Andover club, said, “Emma Goldstein [President of the Jewish Student Union, and an editor at The Phillipian] and I are planning an Arab-Israeli coexistence day for next fall, so we wanted to bring Ambassador Dennis Ross to come speak at an All School Meeting about the Arab-Israeli conflict. We have other events plans for that day, but the funds were for his speaker fees specifically.” She elaborated on the plans, saying, “Later in the day we’re planning a round-table with the Jewish Student Union, Muslim Student Union and the Young Arab-American Leaders at Andover, and we wanted Ambassador Dennis Ross to come to this discussion and dinner because he’s very knowledgeable on the topic of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and we want to look for ways to make peace. “ They applied for $11, 000. “We got $8,000. That’s not enough to fund him coming, but there are speaker funds that we can tap into, like from the Dean of Studies and I think there are speaker funds for All School Meetings that we’re trying to get money from. Emma and I are going to talk to Mr. Hoyt [Assistant Dean of Students] and Mr. Rogers [Dean of Studies] to try get the additional $3000,” said Missmar. Vivian Wehner ’09, President and Founder of the Andover Knitting Club, said, “I applied for $262. It’s such an exact amount because I actually went and found the yarn I would buy and the needles and then the amount that I thought I would need and added it all up and came up with that number.” She said, “So last year, they [the Trustees] gave me $580, and I bought a spinning wheel, knitting needles and yarn. The spinning wheel is really expensive is why I asked for so much, but it’s really cool because now people can learn how to spin wool into yarn, and it’s a really good one.” Aaron Sage ’09, President of the Andover Ethics Society, said, “This will fund our fall term speakers. We applied for $1000 and we got all of our requested funds. Some of our speakers are alumni so they usually don’t charge as much or at all.” He elaborated, “During the fall, we’re planning to host the local congresswoman Nikki Tsongas, and we are hosting a political ethics forum because the elections will be taking place during the fall, so that will be interesting.” “We’ve been planning these events, and we obviously needed a funding source. When we started thinking about our fall term events was the end of winter. We’re always planning events, so it’s just in our schedule,” said Sage. The Abbot Grant has been a part of Andover since Phillips Academy and Abbot Academy merged in 1973. The Association was established with $1 million from the endowment of Abbot Academy. Funds have grown significantly since and the number of grant requests have risen. “I see Abbot Grants as a unique aspect of Andover. In many schools faculty and students have good ideas but either they can’t make their ideas a reality or they have to fund their innovations themselves. Abbot Grants give students, faculty and staff a way to contribute to their community in a positive way,” said Schorr. The next round of Abbot Grants will be decided in October.