breaking News

Dean of Students Announces Changes to Prom in Emails to Seniors

Seniors received an email from Jennifer Elliott ’94, Dean of Students and Residential Life, announcing changes to the Prom and Commencement schedule. The full email reads as follows:

Dear Seniors,

As we prepare to celebrate you over your COMMENCEMENT weekend in June (YAHHOOOOO!), we write to update you about a decision that will affect the scheduling and planning of the exciting weekend for everyone.

This year, and we expect going forward, we will shift the prom to be a celebration of seniors and move the date to the Friday evening of Commencement Weekend, Friday, June 5, 2020. We hope to create an opportunity for our community to celebrate the class of 2020 and allow the seniors to have a festive evening together.

As 9th, 10th, and 11th graders depart campus by 12 on Thursday, June 4, our community’s attention will shift entirely to celebrating our seniors’ Commencement Weekend. We will host our Community Dinner on Thursday, June 4, 2020. Seniors will be able to enjoy an evening with adult members of the community and get a good night’s sleep before prepping for the prom.

By hosting the prom on Friday evening, more families of seniors will be able to be on campus for the pre-prom Flagstaff reception and Sam Phil photos. We cannot wait—countdown is on!

For now, good luck this week with your remaining classes. If I do not see you before you depart for break, Happy Holidays and safe travels!



While Student Body and Cluster Co-Presidents were not involved in decisions about changes to Prom policy, they were notified about the decision beforehand. Student Body Co-President Shahinda Bahnasy ’20 confirmed that — as implied in Elliott’s email — Uppers will not be allowed to attend Prom, and added that non-Andover students will also not be allowed to attend this year.

“[Uppers] will not be allowed at prom, nor will students who do not attend Phillips Academy,” wrote Bahnasy.

Elliott confirmed in an email to The Phillipian on Sunday evening that Uppers and outside students will not be allowed at Prom. Though only a select few underclassmen students will be allowed to stay through Saturday to perform in Commencement concerts, all underclassmen will have the option to return to campus to watch Promenade after moving out of their dorms.

“The prom will be for members of the class of 2020 (there will not be guests from outside or the upper class). 9th, 10th, and 11th boarding students will head home 24 hours after their last commitment. Students are certainly welcome to come back to campus for Promenade (just as some have for Commencement). We will need to think through accommodations for students who are performing in the concert on Saturday afternoon,” wrote Elliott.

Following confusion from the student body surrounding Prom policy changes, Kathryn Dolan, Assistant Dean of Students and Residential Life, forwarded Uppers and Seniors an email from Bahnasy. Bahnasy’s email contained a link to a microsite inviting upperclassmen to a forum to discuss changes to Prom policy.

“This invitation is extended to Uppers and Seniors to collect student feedback on the delivery of the news and steps for the future. Please understand that the goal is not to change the decision made by the deans, but rather an opportunity to reflect and gain clarity,” reads the site.

The forum, which was announced via Dolan’s email to upperclassmen at 6:07 p.m., is scheduled to run from 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Freeman room.

Editor’s note: Shahinda Bahnasy is a Photo Editor for The Phillipian.