Campaign for Andover Hits $300 Million Goal Early

After seven years of fundraising, the Campaign for Andover reached $302.7 million to surpass its initial goal of $300 million.

“The Campaign for Andover: Building on the Surest Foundation” was initiated under the leadership of former Head of School Barbara Landis Chase and Oscar Tang ’56, former President of the Board of Trustees. More than 16,000 donors, including 65 percent of Andover alumni, have donated or pledged to the campaign.

The money raised will go toward the endowment to support compensation for faculty and staff, financial aid, academics, campus maintenance and renovations, off-campus experiential learning programs and educational outreach programs, according to an Academy press release.

The main priority of the campaign was to support Andover’s need-blind admission policy, which was instituted in 2008. The campaign has eliminated the need to support the need-blind policy with tuition increases, according to Peter Ramsey, Secretary of the Academy.

According to the press release, the campaign has provided $92 million for student scholarships and financial aid, an amount far larger than the funds for any other single campaign priority.

Head of School John Palfrey said, “[The campaign] is absolutely about our admissions policy, which is something that truly sets us apart from other schools… that is the key element.”

“As much as the dollars matter, the campaign is demonstrating the support that Andover has among the alumni and parents. And that support is being demonstrated by both huge and wonderful contributions as well as by small, and absolutely just as wonderful, contributions,” said Peter Currie, President of the Board of Trustees.

Palfrey said, “[The campaign’s success] was based on both a sense that our friends and alumni believe that this is the best investment that they can make, in terms of supporting education for young people around the world.”

To date, the campaign has received gifts ranging from 10 dollars to 25 million dollars, according to Ramsey.

The majority of funds came as a result of direct communication with donors and through class and reunion efforts, including many regional events throughout the country, according to Ramsey.

Approximately 80 percent of donations and pledges are earmarked, meaning that the donor designates how their gift should be spent, according to Ramsey. The trustees consult members of the administration to determine where the remaining 20 percent of donations is most needed.

The completion of the Campaign for Andover will shift the focus of the Board of Trustees to forming a new strategic plan, according to Currie.

“There are a lot of things that the school can do and will do and needs to do, and part of the second half of this academic year will be dedicated to the thinking about the new strategic plan. And out of that strategic plan will come, undoubtedly, some new priorities, and we’re going to have to figure out how to get those funded—that may be new external sources of funding, and it may be re-allocating the expenses that we’re able to manage currently, based on today’s endowment… [The campaign’s completion] doesn’t mark the end of things, it really marks the beginning of things,” said Currie.

“It is inevitable that there, at some point, will be a new campaign, but [any new] campaign really has to be driven by institutional priorities. And so, the request for funds comes from a strategic place and a strategic position, and I think we are at wonderful moment in time for the Academy,” said Currie.

According to Ramsey, the biggest donors in this campaign effort have expressed their pleasure in helping strengthen the Academy across the board and ensuring that the Andover educational experience is as accessible as possible.

Ramsey said, “Fundraising for philanthropy provides the support that allows institutions like PA to do the things that many of us feel make a real difference each and every day while here on Andover Hill.”

The campaign began in July 2005 with a “silent phase,” during which the Academy met with campaign leaders, trustees, alumni and parents who had interest in supporting Andover, according to the press release.

The campaign will officially conclude on December 31, 2012.