Cap. Campaign Extended By One Year

Phillips Academy’s ongoing capital campaign, originally slated to end in June 2011, will now tentatively end in June 2012. Peter Ramsey, Secretary of the Academy, said that this yearlong delay is “entirely due to the financial climate.” The school plans to go public with the capital campaign this fall, months behind its original public launch date of April 2009. Despite the setbacks, Ramsey said that “financially we continue to be on target” toward the campaign’s monetary goal of $300 to $310 million. Since July 1, 2005, $170 million of gifts and pledges have been promised for the campaign, and of that amount $110 million has already been collected, according to Ramsey. Andover has currently received 30 commitments of one million dollars or more. “[In the last campaign], which ended in 2002, there was a total of 39 commitments of over one million, and we already have 30,” said Ramsey. Ramsey said this total includes all gifts or pledges donated for “institutional priorities.” Money from the capital campaign has funded projects such as the renovations of Commons and the Addison Gallery, as well as financial aid. Andover has not yet witnessed a drop in the amount of pledges as a result of the economic downturn. “So far I’m pleased to report that no one has asked out of what we would call a ‘multi-year’ pledge,” said Ramsey. “A number of people who were looking at multi-year pledges and said, ‘Let’s take it year by year.’” However, Ramsey added that there are a “few donors who haven’t been able to give what they want to the annual fund.” The postponement of the public phase of the campaign prolongs the “quiet phase” from this spring to the fall. The quiet phase of the capital campaign allows the school to directly contact alumni to discuss academic priorities, recruit donors and gain momentum for campaign, said Ramsey. Barbara Chase, Head of School, often travels abroad as a liaison between Andover and alumni donors. Nancy Jeton, Special Assistant to the Head of School, said, “If the economy was better, we’d probably be pushing [Chase] to be on the road a bit more than last year, but given the realities of the economy [her amount of travel is] probably about even [as last year’s].” “[Chase] is still doing her traveling to meet with alumni and donors. One of her jobs is to keep the Academy and its needs top of mind for alumni, so she goes on her speaking engagements,” added Jeton. Jeton said that in the second week of March, Chase will fly to the West Coast to fundraise in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco, California. Chase will attend regional associations in certain cities to give updates on Andover’s capital campaign. Jeton said, “There are people [Chase] stays in touch with because they have longstanding relationships. They might give frequently to the Academy and…whenever she’s in their town, she drops in.” According to Jeton, Chase also meets individually with alumni who are interested in donating large amounts to Andover. “By the time you send a Head of School…to meet with one of these major donors, a lot of work has already been done in terms of getting them information,” said Jeton. “Mrs. Chase’s visit often is the culmination of a long-term relationship,” said Jeton. “We’re trying to continue to be externally visible, but [also] be careful about how we’re perceived, about our travel and about being mindful of the economy,” said Ramsey. Tracy Sweet, Director of Academy Communications, said that Andover will “continue to evaluate our travel schedule” due to economic hardships. “The external set of events and activities [is] slowing down a little, but in general we’re continuing to do the work of the campaign,” said Ramsey. Oscar Tang ’56, President of the Board of Trustees, is the chairman of the capital campaign. David Underwood ’54 and Donna Brace Ogilvie ’30 are the honorary co-chairs. At their annual fall meeting, the Trustees approved a name for the ongoing campaign, “The Campaign for Andover: Building on the Surest Foundation.” “We are so much better at the communication side of this [campaign] than we were at previous campaigns that [our communication] will bolster us through difficult times,” said Ramsey. Ramsey said a major accomplishment of the capital campaign to date is the success of the Andover Fund, which supports need-blind financial aid, faculty compensation, the Commons and Addison projects and the renovation of athletic fields. According to Ramsey, Andover is also completing the recruitment of 15 members for a steering committee of the campaign.