After 17 years of service, Michael J. Ebner ’70, current Principal Gift Officer, will leave Andover to become Chief Advancement Officer at St. John’s Preparatory School.
As Chief Advancement Officer, Ebner will lead fundraising initiatives and oversee alumni relations. He will also work with the Headmaster of St. John’s Prep to open a new middle school and an all-girls’ high school.
St. John’s Prep is currently a Catholic all-boys day school of about 1,200 students in Danvers, MA.
“I’m a creative person and looking for new solutions to old problems. One of the trustees [of St. Johns] even said, ‘His resume is our job description.’ So you leave something behind and you look at the wider window ahead,” said Ebner.
“What Andover gave me and what I hope I gave Andover [is] a broad sense of the bigger community, which is what I’m moving into. I’d like to try to incorporate the students, the faculty, the alumni, members of that bigger community [at St. John’s Prep], proactively, to make [the school] bigger than what it was and more connected than what it was,” he continued.
Ebner began his career at Andover in 1995 as Protestant Chaplain, and has served since as Director of Alumni Affairs, Assistant Director of Community Service, and most recently as Principal Gift Officer.
“There was a one year opening, as a part-time chaplain, at Andover. I never left. I ended up staying here for more than seventeen years,” said Ebner.
At Andover, Ebner helped to establish Senior-Faculty dinners, revamp the All-School Meeting program and end Sunday All-School Meetings.
“There were a lot of complaints back then about how All-School Meetings were formulaic. We said that we’re going to make the All-School meeting whatever is timely and interesting. We wanted to have a diverse array of speakers so we brought in alumni, James Caroll, Steph Molte, a Harvard graduate who went into the marines and to Iraq, and we started doing interesting things and the program evolved,” said Ebner.
As Principal Gift Officer for the last four years, Ebner also helped to distribute fundraising money.
“I listen to what the donors are interested in, [like] financial aid or faculty support, and I also listen to what the school needs and I try to match these two interests. It’s both philanthropy and best sense,” said Ebner.
Ebner, an active community service organizer and participant during his time at Andover, launched the alternative Spring Break Trip to South Carolina 17 years ago, which brings students and faculty to John’s Island to rebuild houses.
Both before and during his time at Andover, Ebner also conducted over forty service learning trips to different countries. Ebner has travelled multiple times to the Domincan Republic, where he worked to establish a relationship between local students and students at Andover, as well as campaign for the school.
As a student at Andover, Ebner participated in a variety of activities.
“I was really involved in the art department as a student. I played baseball here, which I loved. It was a different school then, and it was a different time in the 60s, but it was a fun place back then, even though we did work our butts off, like always,” said Ebner.
After graduating from Andover, Ebner worked as a stockbroker in Florida and went into the ministry.