Andover Launches 400 Million Dollar Fundraising Campaign

Rows of white tables and chairs scattered the Great Lawn last Saturday as students, faculty, and alumni enjoyed lobster rolls, shrimp and avocado shooters, and house-made whoopie pies under the clear blue skies. Later that night, the Case Memorial Cage was transformed into a stage and dining area for a campus gala that was attended by a mix of 400 alumni, parents, and faculty.

“In the gala, I was a drummer for a jazz quintet, Drumline and also the student backup group [for Kevin Olusola ’06, one of the performers]. When I initially entered the cage on Friday, they had dressed it all up, made it look very fancy. It was pretty crazy because you walk in and it’s carpeted and beautiful. It’s a really weird feeling. They put smoke machines everywhere and used lots of… light beams [that] would shine through blue and white and gold, very pretty,” said Pickle Emerson ’20, a student participant in the gala.

Trustee President Peter Currie ’74, P’03 publically announced, “Knowledge & Goodness: The Andover Campaign” at the gala. The community picnic and gala were part of the larger campaign to fundraise 400 million dollars to support Andover’s need blind admissions program and campus master plan.

Tracy Sweet, Director of Communications, said, “You’ve heard a lot about our work in Equity and Inclusion, and Empathy and Balance and Creativity and Innovation, so a lot of the strategic planning was really supporting how we continue to invest in the school… There was [also] a commitment to supporting our need blind admissions program and really standing for our school’s commitment to Youth From Every Quarter… The second piece is [the] campus master effort to think about the physical campus and our needs over the next decades, not just in the shorter term.”

The “quiet phase” of the campaign, which started in 2015, has already raised 140 million dollars. This first phase was aimed to raise early gifts and test campaign ideas with the board and other lead donors. The second “public phase” will continue until 2022 and attempt to raise 260 million dollars in order to reach the final 400 million dollar goal. Head of School John Palfrey P’21 has partnered with the campaign co-chairs Currie, Joseph Bae ’90, and Amy Falls ’82, P’19, P’21, and the rest of the board of trustees to set the strategy and agenda of the campaign.

The seven-year campaign directly affects present-day students and faculty at Andover, as well.

“The campaign has already affected students in lots of ways. [It] has already raised 140 million dollars, so that money is already at work… The biggest single piece is always financial aid in Andover’s efforts in terms of fundraising. The reason is to sustain need-blind admissions… The financial sustainability of need-blind is a really big question always… I think [remaining a need-blind institution] is the most important in terms of setting Andover apart,” said Palfrey.

“It is about bringing in the most extraordinary students… regardless of what they can pay. Locking in the next generation of need-blind is what I’m most excited about,” he continued.

Thomas Lockerby, Secretary of the Academy, said, “On the other side, we’re really thinking lots of investments in the areas of faculty innovations. The Tang Institute… can have the opportunity to create new courses and think about new ways of teaching… We’ll be thinking about wellness and mindfulness, so those are really tangible ways that both our two most important human populations, our students and our faculty, will really benefit from directly.”

Additionally, the Snyder Center will open in December and there are plans to renovate the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library in the future.

Lockerby continued, “We actually hope that most of the campaign actually is really felt by our students and our faculty, that it doesn’t feel invisible, that there are real things happening that directly affect your life literally each and every day.”

Events similar to the community picnic are also being planned for the future.

“We do think that a way to bring the community together, especially with students and faculty with outside guests, is, first of all, fun. But it’s also inspiring for our outside guests to meet students and for faculty to see the fact that alumni and parents are really interested in their world,” said Lockerby.

“We really want students to know that the investments that people are making are really about them, and we want our faculty to know the same thing. It’s really about them. Our job is to make it possible for you to have a great education, that’s why we exist.”

The Andover campaign will rely on mostly individual alumni and parent donors, in addition to crowdfunding, email, and social media techniques. According to Lockerby, peer to peer fundraising plays a significant role for the campaign. Peer to peer fundraising involves volunteers from around the world who participate in the campaign to ask their parents or, in case of alumni, ask their classmates to support the school.

“They’re almost like philanthropic ambassadors… that care deeply about Andover [and] its mission. They feel great pride in the school so they absolutely step up in numerous ways. Or when you’re fundraising just year over year, the compounding effect that they can have can be truly tremendous,” said Sweet.

The campaign title, Knowledge and Goodness, was chosen to be emotionally evocative and grounded in the school, according to Lockerby.

“[The campaign name] comes from… the founding document of the school when the Phillips family established it 240 years ago… Knowledge without goodness is evil, and goodness without knowledge is weak and feeble… Andover combines the two… Everything that goes on here is about providing you access to knowledge and providing for you the ability to develop within yourself the best Non Sibi spirit. [Those] two words encompass literally everything that ought to be in the Andover student’s experience… it describes the Andover students and the teachers we all know and it describes the school that we really want to have,” said Lockerby.