Deborah Burdett Murphy ’86, Director of Alumni Engagement, will be departing Andover for the coming 2015-2016 school year to become the Assistant Head for Engagement and Advancement at the Nashoba Brooks School, a day school in Concord, Mass.
Murphy’s work as Assistant Head for Engagement and Advancement at Nashoba Brooks will draw on her experiences from her 24 years at Andover, during which she has served as an acting Dean of Admissions, a Girls Tennis coach, a house counselor and an advisor, in addition to her current role as Director of Alumni Engagement.
“This new position [at the Nashoba Brooks School] has oversight of admissions, communications, alumni and development… I was really intrigued by the possibility of bringing all of my experiences from admissions and my alumni development communications work into one job and being able to really bring those experiences and talents to a new place,” said Murphy in an interview with The Phillipian.
The various roles Murphy has held at Andover will help her transition well to her new job, especially as Nashoba Brooks, which is co-ed from preschool to third grade and all-girls from fourth grade to eighth grade, looks towards its future through its new strategic plan.
“Within their [recent] strategic plan, [the Nashoba Brooks School] has several goals… one of them is to broaden outreach and continue diversifying their student body… That part really appealed to me in terms of my previous admissions experience. On a broader scale… they want to increase engagement with parents and alumni… to continue to raise money…and as the school now grows into a better, bigger place, they are putting this structure in place with a new advancement team… and [my] position will oversee that team,” said Murphy.
As Assistant Head for Engagement and Advancement, Murphy will handle data and craft strategies to improve the admission and alumni connections. She hopes to be able to analyze situations in order to apply creative solutions to these problems.
“There is definitely a lot of responsibility, but I also am excited by the opportunity for a lot of growth. It seems like and feels like, from everyone I have talked to, that it is this great, little school that everyone loves, enjoys and is excited about, and it is on the verge of becoming even greater,” she added.
Murphy will continue to live on campus with her husband, Paul Murphy, Dean of Students and Residential Life and Instructor in Mathematics, and her children.
“Something that makes this really nice for me is that I will still be living on [Andover’s] campus… I will be driving about 40 minutes to school everyday, but I don’t have to say goodbye to everyone… As an [alumna], I will still go to my reunions, and… my son will be coming [to Andover] in the fall and my daughter is an Upper… so I will be a parent [at Andover] as well,” she said.
Even as Murphy looks forward to her new job at Nashoba Brooks, she said she has loved working with students, parents and alumni during her time at Andover.
“The best thing about [Andover] is the people. That definitely starts with the students, and when I was in [the Admissions Office], I used to interview kids, travel and meet kids in eighth grade in their little schools. I loved all of that because I loved connecting good people to a good place,” she said.
Murphy added that she would especially like to thank Jane Foley Fried, former Dean of Admissions and current Head of the Brearley School, an all-girls school in New York, NY., who began working at Andover on the same day in July 1991 as Murphy.
“I am incredibly grateful for all of the experiences I have had here. [Fried] was always this amazing friend and mentor, and she is now doing great things. I learned a ton in the Admissions Office. I got to work in the Alumni and Development Office and learned from great people there. So I’ve been fortunate to have amazing colleagues and opportunities… I would say she was a really important person for me,” said Murphy.
Jennifer Savino, Associate Director of Alumni Engagement, Regional Events and Special Programs, will serve as the acting Director of the Alumni Engagement for 2015-2016.