The Gateway

This week’s Spring Visit days mark a key aspect of Andover’s spring term: Andover’s annual opportunity to open its doors for the first time to accepted members of the Academy’s next generation.

All Andover students sweated over an application and were accepted to this school, and nearly everyone here spent a day at an Andover spring revisit as a newly accepted student, eager to see what lay ahead and nervous about the unknown future.

Despite each student’s initial familiarity with the admission process, many students have since forgotten–or never recognized– the behind-the-scenes effort that annually stewards Andover’s excellence as an academic and residential institution.

As Jane Fried, Dean of Admission, prepares to leave Andover for the next stage of her career, Andover owes the Admission team, and Mrs. Fried in particular, special gratitude for representing and preserving Andover’s high caliber. The strength of the Admission Office, one of Andover’s primary windows to the larger world, translates directly into the consistent quality of the Andover student body and of the school at large.

Several recent introductions in the Admission program offer a perspective into the creativity and dedication of the Admission Office:

Admission’s development of attractive technology, from the Andover Walkabout multimedia website to projects like Mrs. Fried’s “Dean’s Journal” and student blogs, exemplifies the dynamism of Andover’s expansion. For many years, Andover has embraced educational innovation while still maintaining its strongest traditions; Admissions’ work in publicizing the Andover experience through unprecedented mediums strengthens Andover’s ability to remain a leader in innovative academic and residential endeavors.

But beyond publicity and recruiting, marketing and multimedia, the continuity of Andover’s reputation lies in the Admission Office’s adeptness in crafting an entering class.
“A complex puzzle put together every year” in the words of Mrs. Fried, the end product of Admissions’ work is often taken for granted. It preserves not only the quality of Andover for those who currently live and study here but also the value of this school for those who have long departed from Andover Hill.

Further still, the Admission Office upholds a tenet of Andover life: Youth from Every Quarter. The need-blind admission initiative, championed by Mrs. Fried and Head of School Barbara Chase, among many others, illustrates its laudability each year as Andover welcomes for revisits an admitted class impressive in its diversity.

This list of achievements, some small and others historical milestones for the school, should invite current students entrenched in life on campus to take a second look at how they arrived here and what this school has done for them. They should recognize that the efforts of the Admission Office in creating a community make Andover just as attractive as the school’s newest set of buildings or strongest academic programs: the office succeeds each year in demonstrating that Andover is a genuine, good place to live.

So even though students receive their matriculation certificates in the fall of their first year here, their relationship with the Admission Office shouldn’t have to end when their cluster dean passes the documents to them. All the invisible work that went into their journeys to Andover is likely to slip to the back of their minds as students begin their new journeys here.

Today, along with the remaining two days of revisits, offers students an opportunity to repay the great effort of the Admission Office: by representing Andover well and recognizing the hard work of Mrs. Fried and each member of the Admission team.

This Editorial represents the views of The Phillipian Editorial Board CXXXV.