On Monday evening, Head of School John Palfrey descended the steps to the basement of Samuel Morse Hall. He paused in the doorway to announce the completion of the successful Phillipian Endowment campaign, which raised $654,000 for the independent uncensored paper, surpassing its original $500,000 goal. Since the launch of the Endowment campaign in October 2013, more than 600 alums, parents and friends of The Phillipian contributed to the endowment, according to Gail Mansfield, Director of Major Gifts and Annual Giving. Income from the endowment will provide a free hard copy of The Phillipian to all Andover students, renew technology and equipment, and enable on- and off-campus opportunities for future boards. The initial push for an endowment came after the economic downturn in 2008, when subscriptions barely covered The Phillipian’s operating costs. “The idea for fundraising to secure The Phillipian’s future floated around the newsroom as this unattainable ideal during our board year. Subscriptions were down and it was becoming harder and harder to break even financially,” said Julia Zorthian ’11, Editor in Chief of The Phillipian vol. CXXXIII in an email to The Phillipian. “When I went off to college in 2011, I saw how our newspaper here has an endowment and prints free copies for everyone, so it seemed more possible for Andover.” Zorthian, a member of The Phillipian Advisory Board, discussed the idea of an endowment with the board the following year. “It was amazing how quickly the group convened a Phillipian Endowment Committee to start, and quickly finish, the fundraising. Andover’s OAR also took on a large role with coordinating the campaign while respecting the paper’s independence,” she said. The Phillipian Endowment will be a subsidiary of Andover’s greater endowment. Roughly half of The Phillipian’s annual operating costs will be covered by the endowment, so students will still be expected to manage the paper like a small business, generating advertising revenue and producing issues within an annual budget. “The paper’s independence has always been guaranteed by precedent, by the school respecting that the paper is uncensored and unsupervised, and by the paper’s ability to support itself as a business. This endowment will secure the future of that independence for as far as we can see. A community with a truly free press is an extraordinary place and that’s what Andover is,” said Nina Scott, Advisor to The Phillipian and Instructor in English. The endowment will also fund the digital renovation of The Phillipian, including redesigning the website, creating a mobile application and expanding the video section. “What will be really fun is to see what The Phillipian does with it all,” Palfrey said to the newsroom on Monday. “How you will make the transition from the analogue era institution into what I call ‘digital plus?’” Zorthian said, “I could not be more thrilled to know the paper will remain a part of Andover’s changing campus. It’s great to imagine decades of staffers and editors to come producing the paper together from the newsroom in the Morse basement, all being connected by this amazing experience.” The Phillipian will host a celebration of the completed endowment in April in New York City, however, there was a small gathering of The Phillipian Endowment board and some donors in honor of the conclusion of the campaign. Palfrey, Tom Rubin ’79, Co-Chair of the Endowment Campaign and Chief Intellectual Property Strategy Counsel, and Chris Hughes ’02, Publisher & Executive Chairman of The New Republic, Co-Founder of Facebook spoke at the event, which Hughes hosted. Rubin said, “Whether Phillipian alumni have gone on to greatness in journalism or benefitted from the experience by becoming independent thinkers and leaders in other fields, we share common ground: namely, the abiding faith that was put in us before we earned it. And that faith significantly contributed to the people we have become. We are grateful to Andover, and we have committed through this campaign to ensure that future generations can similarly benefit.”
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