Bid On Blue Begins

A personalized journey through Italy, a collection of autographed novels and a Shelby Cobra roadster—these are just few of the items included in the Bid on Blue Auction, whose process will go towards supporting financial aid at Andover.

The online bidding launches at noon on October 14 and will stay open until noon on November 3. Access and registration to the Online Auction will be available at the Andover Bid on Blue web page, providing access for bidders around the world.

Bid on Blue will also include all-day events on campus and a dinner on November 5, when there will be a silent and live auction. The Alumni Affairs Office has invited Andover alumni, parents and faculty to the dinner, but students are not allowed to attend, said Janet Cathcart, Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs and Parent Volunteers. Alumni Affairs primarily expects attendance from the New England region.

Cathcart also said that the auction will celebrate the first four ninth grade classes admitted under the Need-Blind Admissions policy. Need-Blind admission means a prospective student’s ability to pay does not affect their admission.

Because this is the first auction of any kind conducted by Andover, Bid on Blue does not have a specific monetary goal. Cathcart hopes it will significantly contribute to the funds allocated for financial aid, which support 46 percent of students at Andover.

Barbara Chase, Head of School, initially coordinated with the Alumni Affairs Office to communicate her interest in an auction that would unify the wider Andover community.

Cathcart said, “The Andover community covers such a wide swath of the globe and is such a unique source of financial support that we felt this auction could reach a large group of people and generate large amount of funds for students.”

She continued, “[The auction items] focus on experiences, rather than just tangible prizes, as these type of items engage the buyer in ways other than just contributing to the Andover community.”

The online, silent and live auctions collectively feature over 320 prizes donated by parents, alumni and friends of Andover, with over 200 prizes available online.

These experience related items include a personalized tour of Assisi, Florence and Rome, Italy with David Fox, Instructor in Art History, and a week long stay for two in an apartment in Paris, France.

The company Bid Pal will provide an application on iPods that will allow bidders to vote paperlessly throughout the silent auction on November 5. They will also provide hundreds of iPods for the dinner guests.

“[The Alumni Affairs Office] wants to make technology work for us, especially in helping us get as much information [about the auction] out and in coordinating the actual events themselves.”

Although the online auction will only run until November 3, remaining online items will be part of the silent auction. The live auction will be made up of 12 exclusive items not available in the other auctions, including the Maqubela’s South Africa tour and the Shelby Cobra roadster.

One of the larges exclusive live auction items is the Andover Collection, a group of books written and signed by Andover alumni and faculty. Some of the books also include stories handwritten by the author about their time at Phillips Academy.

Bidders may also choose to give direct donations to specific sections of financial aid, supporting travel expenses for parents travelling large distances for Parent’s Weekend, Prom and Commencement costs, Athletic equipment, Textbooks, SAT and ACT test fees or student technology.

Online prizes feature “Conversations Over Dinner,” where bidders can take out an Andover author, journalist or instructor to dinner and chat one-on-one with them about their areas of expertise.

Tickets to Broadway musicals, including, “The Lion King” and “Wicked” are also available to online bidders Boston Red Sox and Celtics games, and private museum tours given by Andover alumni. One exclusive prize of this type is a tour of the Asian Galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Oscar Tang ‘56.

Miscellaneous other prizes include Andover-themed collectibles, vacations to hotels and resorts around the world, jewelry, mentoring and training programs, and consultations with Andover businesses.