From the Editor: Pro Schola

To recent alums – thanks for giving a damn. Here’s a statistic for you: According to Woody Allen, 80 percent of success is showing up. A lot of you seem to agree. Last week’s editorial opened with a description of Andover/Exeter and the many alums who made the trip back to campus for that day this year. The editorial went on to argue that recent alums should also contribute financially to Phillips Academy. Several recent alums responded negatively, saying that returning to campus for homecoming is an important and significant gesture, a way to show one’s appreciation for the school – that maintaining a human connection equals or trumps the obligation to donate. We couldn’t agree more. The intent of the editorial was not to specifically call upon the most recent graduates (the classes of ’07 and ’08, say) to give money – we understand that you have tuition, rent and expenses of your own. Nor was it to “belittle” students who return. Of course, spirit, reverence and a connection with Phillips Academy can never be measured in dollars or tallied on donor lists. The intoxicating cheers at A/E, heartfelt reunions with friends and lasting relationships with teachers cannot be quantified. And, if anyone was in doubt that recent alums continue to care about Andover and to follow the happenings at this institution, those doubts should be laid to rest by the letters we’ve received this week. Still, a final point – as much as showing up counts, participation does, too. In a news article last week, we reported that “low donor rates can affect the ratings of tax-exempt bonds issued by the Academy to gain revenue.” So while it seems like small donations won’t make much difference in our daily lives – that cold hard cash can’t equal warmth of spirit – in fact, even a minor act can up the participation rate, which both looks good to alums with more dough and helps to raise the rating of bonds that raise revenue for Phillips Academy. To recent alums – thanks for showing up, for writing in, for giving when you do. Some of you paid a great deal to make it back to campus on A/E. The price of tuition at Andover, not to mention the day-to-day costs and toll it can take on us, at times seem tremendous. Thanks for proving – with your actions – that this school is worth it.