Remembering Georgie Phinney: Campus Efforts to Keep his Beloved Memory Alive

In rembrance of George Phinney, the Team Georgie Challenge will run from April 6 through to June 6.

During the All-School Meeting (ASM) on May 3, students held up red and yellow signs to form a giant number nine in Cochran Chapel to celebrate Georgie Phinney and raise awareness for the Team Georgie Challenge. The Georgie Challenge includes integrating the number nine into a creative project, posting a photo on social media, and donating to a charitable cause. 


Several Andover faculty, including Girls’ Hockey Head Coach Martha Fenton ’83 and Heather Thomson, Senior Manager of Operations and Maintenance, have facilitated annual campus remembrances of Georgie Phinney, a former Andover faculty child of Brian and Jamie Phinney, since the time of his passing. Fenton outlined what the Georgie Challenge entails, highlighting the extensive work of Ms. and Mr. Phinney on this cause and the range of people who have participated. 


“Georgie would have been nine on June 6, so they’re asking people to come up with a challenge, and it’s meant to be a physical challenge or an emotional challenge, which are many of the things that Georgie managed. [For example,] a whole Navy lacrosse team did nine push-ups, and they videotaped it. Some people will go down on Georgie’s birthday and do nine laps of the track or something like that… I wanted to do something that involved the whole community because I think that the Phinneys were really influential here [at Andover], and a lot of people felt very strongly about them and felt Georgie’s loss and [thought] about a way to get the whole community to be able to do something. I came up with the idea, and Ms. [Heather] Thomson was hugely helpful in pulling it off in terms of getting everybody going,” said Fenton. 


Fenton elaborated on the Georgie Challenge during the ASM and the unity Georgie has created as a result. She discussed how the girls’ hockey team came together to prepare for the challenge and detailed her plans to honor Georgie on his birthday in June moving forward. 


“Coach Phinney coached hockey with me, and members of the girls’ hockey team came the night before and helped us set it up, and then they were the ones who were in the middle and filling in the nine and helping to make sure that it came off okay. It was really meaningful, and a lot of people got emotional. It was really fun. We haven’t posted the images yet because Ms. Phinney wants to do it on his birthday. She’d like to put that post up on her social media on his birthday, so that’s why we haven’t posted anything yet. I look forward to being able to celebrate that, and a group of us will go down to Belmont Hill on his birthday and do the challenge with them there too,” said Fenton. 


Maty Bah ’26, one of the students who held up a sign for Georgie during last Friday’s ASM, discussed her personal ties to Coach Phinney and the Georgie Challenge, including her admission to Andover and a team psych. She commented on the importance of raising awareness for Georgie and how Andover could provide even more outreach and support for his cause. 


“I remember we did a psych for [Georgie] last year where we all had to dress in red and yellow to show our support for him. Jamie Phinney, she was my interviewer going into Andover, so I knew a little bit about their family and I heard from Coach Fenton about him. [I think Andover succeeded in making the community aware of this cause]. Speaking at the ASM was, I think, very good because it opened people’s eyes [up] to the cause, and I think Andover should do even more to have outreach [for] Georgie,” said Bah.