After 27 years of organizing fundraising campaigns that enabled Andover to adopt need-blind admissions, Patricia Diodati, Director of Information Services in the Office of Academy Resources (OAR), has retired.
During her time at Andover, Diodati helped organize and manage The Andover Campaign and The Campaign for Andover, which raised a combined total of over 500 million dollars. In addition to securing need-blind admissions, the funds were also used for new buildings, including the Rebecca M. Sykes Wellness Center.
“[Need-blind admission] has been the most important goal of the two campaigns. It’s to ensure that if you’re smart enough to come here, then you’re going to be able to come here – whether you can afford it or not,” said Diodati.
Diodati, who officially retired last Friday, leaves behind a legacy of kindness and efficiency, exemplified by her annual organization of a gift collection for the Lawrence YMCA.
“At the busiest time of our year [in the] Development Office, which is around the beginning of December through January… She would make sure that every kid got the same amount of gifts, and that they all had clothes and they all had toys… [She] made sure that those kids always had really good holidays,” said Denise Elworthy, Manager of Information Services in the OAR.
Diodati spent her career in the Operations, Planning, and Analytics Office of the OAR, managing Andover’s alumni records and monitoring philanthropic gifts to the community. Previously, she had run her own business as a monogrammer, but Diodati decided to apply for a job at Andover after her children were accepted.
“It’s very different working for yourself and coming to work for [others]. I think I’ve become a better person in that I care about the people who work for me. I care about a greater mission. Before, when I worked for myself, it was more for me, and now it’s for the good of [Andover],” said Diodati in an interview with The Phillipian.
“We all have a common mission which is to educate youth from every quarter, and even though we don’t do the educating, we provide a lot of money. We raise money that allows this great institution to go on, and for all of you to have the opportunity that you have,” she continued.
Elworthy said that Diodati was among the hardest workers in the office, and would work up to fourteen hours straight to get her job done.
“We work well together; they are so dedicated and love this place and care about this place. [They] want to do a good job and make sure everything’s done perfectly. This makes it easy to come to work and easy to do your job when you work with people who care so much about what they have to do and about this institution… I spend more time with them than I do with some of my family members,” said Diodati.
Elworthy, who has worked with Diodati for her entire tenure, says she will always admire Diodati’s attention to detail and tenacious work ethic. “She asks the right questions – always – and she asks questions until she gets to the bottom of something. [She] never lets a penny go unreconciled. [With] anything that she does, she’s just a really good role model,” said Elworthy.
Elworthy fondly remembers the day Diodati turned 60, which happened to be the 60th year anniversary of Dunkin Donuts’ foundation. The Dean of the OAR pulled a memorable practical joke in honor of the occasion.
“[She] and Dunkin Donuts turned 60 at the same time and her team [covered] her office in Dunkin Donuts cups because they had 60 on them. We covered the floor, her desk, her entire office. And in celebration, we kicked around Dunkin Donuts cups for a week,” said Elworthy.
Two of Diodati’s children attended Andover, and her grandson, Jackson Diodati ’20, is a Junior this year. Diodati considers her children’s graduation ceremonies some of her best memories at the school.
“My favorite memory of all of my Andover experiences are when my son and my daughter graduated…it’s just a very wonderful ceremony and it’s very memorable,” said Diodati.
Although she does not yet have any concrete plans for retirement, Diodati plans to spend time with family and catch up on some much deserved fun, starting with staying up late on the weekends.
“I am going to spend a lot more time with my grandchildren, [and] with my dad who is 93. My husband and I love to mountain climb and hike, so I’m going to spend a lot more time on a mountain top. I have a little convertible that I couldn’t drive much because I was always working, so I’ll spend more time in that. And I just kind of look to make a difference in the world,” said Diodati.