In honor of the annual Family Weekend, Parents of Students of Phillips Academy (PSPA) curated special merchandise for students, faculty, and visiting parents to browse, receiving substantial reception from its many customers. According to PSPA member Kelsey Yin, Andover’s official merchandise store was able to provide most, if not all, its customers with satisfaction.
“We welcomed a lot of new parents, and everyone I met had bought something. Someone went back to buy more stuff. They told me they really liked the products that we sell in Campus Closet. They are happy to see the kids wearing the Andover shirts and the Andover sweatshirts in the school,” said Yin.
The wide range of products available over Family Weekend directly reflects the amount of work PSPA put in beforehand. Through brand partnerships with Nike, Under Armour, and Champion and competitive pricing, PSPA ensured the high quality and affordability of merchandise. Florence Kim, another member of PSPA and co-director of Campus Closet, commented PSPA’s month-long preparation leading up to the weekend.
“We have been getting a ton of merchandise for weeks and weeks now… We are always thinking about what the students might like to see, what new stuff you guys like to see. We like to make sure there is fresh new stuff to get you guys to come in and shop. It’s been way busier in the last two weeks, just getting ready for a three-day weekend,” said Kim.
This weekend’s Campus Closet offered a great way for members of PSPA to get to know staff and connect with fellow parents, encouraging them to also join PSPA. Yin talked about how this opportunity helped build community among campus adults, who can collaborate to support students with similar initiatives in the future.
“The reason why I joined PSPA is that PA is Non Sibi, so as parents we should be Non Sibi too, trying to offer as much help to the school, and to the community… My favorite part is that I meet a lot of wonderful parents that volunteer together with me in Campus Closet. Also, I am happy to see the PA students coming to buy clothes and goodies,” said Yin.
From T-Shirts to pajama pants, many students bought merchandise for their versatility and comfort, as well as to show off the simple yet timeless Andover logo.
“I really liked [the shopping experience] because it was just at the beginning of a restock, so everything’s here…I got a matching set with the sweatpants and the hoodie, and they look really good together. And then I got another hoodie because it’s comfortable,” said Elise Zhang ’26.
Meanwhile, Ava Sullivan ’23, who handled Campus Closet logistics, noted the memorable nature of merchandise for boarding students’ parents even as a day student herself.
“I came to PSPA to get merch for my parents and myself. It’s a really good setup that we have…I am a day student, so it is a little different for me… But I know for a lot of boarders it’s really special for them to show their parents around campus, and then they can go pick out some merch to remember it by,” said Sullivan.
PSPA is present on campus in ways other than Campus Closet and offers an opportunity for Andover parents to contribute and become further involved in student life. The group strives to improve student experiences by working with the Student Activities Department, with 100 percent of PSPA profits going towards funding events like Casino Night, pre-prom reception, and Faculty Appreciation Breakfasts.
“We like to think that we like to put on some of the fun events for all the students on campus; Casino Night is a big thing that PSPA does. We hope to do more of that kind of stuff for you guys,” said Kim.
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