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Phillips Academy

Coordinates: 42°38′50″N 71°07′54″W / 42.6473°N 71.1316°W / 42.6473; -71.1316
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Phillips Academy
Academia Phillipiana[1]
180 Main Street


United States
Coordinates42°38′50″N 71°07′54″W / 42.6473°N 71.1316°W / 42.6473; -71.1316
School type
  • Latin: Non Sibi ("Not for Self")
  • Latin: Finis Origine Pendet ("The End Depends Upon the Beginning")
  • Youth From Every Quarter
  • Knowledge and Goodness
Established1778; 246 years ago (1778)
FounderSamuel Phillips Jr.
CEEB code220030
NCES School ID00603199
PresidentAmy Falls
Head of SchoolRaynard S. Kington
Teaching staff232
Grades912, PG
Enrollment1,149 (2022-23)
 • Boarding students848
 • Day students282
Student to teacher ratio7:1
Campus size706 acres (3 km2)
Campus typeSuburban
  •   Navy
  •   White
Athletics conference
MascotGunga, the gorilla
Team nameBig Blue
RivalPhillips Exeter Academy
NewspaperThe Phillipian
YearbookPot Pourri
Endowment$1.32 billion (June 2023)
Tuition$69,600 (boarding)
$53,950 (day)
Former pupilsOld Phillipians

Phillips Academy (also known as PA, Phillips Academy Andover, or simply Andover) is a co-educational college-preparatory school for boarding and day students located in Andover, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. The academy enrolls approximately 1,150 students in grades 9 through 12, including postgraduate students. It is part of the Eight Schools Association and the Ten Schools Admissions Organization.

Founded in 1778, Andover is one of the oldest high schools in the United States. It has educated a long list of notable alumni through its history, including American presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, foreign heads of state, members of Congress, five Nobel laureates and six Medal of Honor recipients.

Andover is highly selective, accepting just 9% of applicants for the 2022–2023 school year. Along with its athletic rival Phillips Exeter Academy, Andover is one of only two co-ed high schools in the United States to both admit students on a need-blind basis and provide financial aid covering 100% of students' demonstrated financial need. 45% of Andover students receive financial aid.


Revolutionary-era beginnings[edit]

A view of Samuel Phillips Hall

Phillips Academy is the oldest incorporated academy in the United States.[2] It was established in 1778 by Samuel Phillips Jr.,[3] a local businessman who hoped to educate Calvinist students for the ministry.[4]

The American Revolutionary War had caused significant upheaval to education in New England, and Phillips Academy filled part of that gap. (For example, Boston Latin School shut down during the war because its headmaster John Lovell, a Loyalist, fled to British Canada after the fall of Boston in 1776.[5]) The founders of Phillips Academy were strongly associated with the Patriot cause. Samuel Phillips and Eliphalet Pearson (later Andover's first head of school) manufactured gunpowder for the Continental Army,[6][7] and the founders attempted to stock Andover's library with books confiscated from Loyalist families who had fled New England.[8]

Several prominent Revolutionary figures maintained links with the academy, including George Washington (who personally visited the academy while president in 1789;[9] eight of his nephews and grandnephews attended Andover[10]), John Hancock (who signed the academy's articles of incorporation), and Paul Revere (who designed the academy seal). Revere's design of the academy seal incorporated a beehive, crops, the sun, and the academy's two mottos: Non Sibi ("not for oneself") and Finis Origine Pendet ("the end depends upon the beginning").[11] Other mottos include Youth from Every Quarter and Knowledge and Goodness, two paraphrases from the academy constitution.[12]

In 1828, all-boys Phillips Academy was joined by a sister school, Abbot Academy. Abbot was one of the first secondary schools for girls in New England.[13] Although the academies had neighboring campuses in the town of Andover, their administrations sought to limit and regulate contact between the student bodies.[14] The two academies merged in 1973.

Calvinist roots and Exeter rivalry[edit]

Phillips Academy's traditional rival is Phillips Exeter Academy, which was established three years later in Exeter, New Hampshire, by Samuel Phillips' uncle John Phillips. Andover and Exeter's sports teams have played each other since 1861,[12] and the football teams have met nearly every year since 1878, making Andover-Exeter one of the nation's oldest high school football rivalries.[15]

From 1808 to 1907, Phillips Academy shared its campus with the Andover Theological Seminary, which was founded by orthodox Calvinists who had fled Harvard University after it appointed a liberal Unitarian theology professor.[16] The Phillips family financially backed the seminary, and the two institutions shared a board of directors.[17][18]

Andover's commitment to orthodox theology helped fuel the Exeter rivalry. Exeter was more welcoming to Unitarians or at least less religious; for example, unlike Andover, its academy constitution did not compel Exeter to teach the doctrine of justification by faith alone.[19][20] As such, Exeter tended to send its students to Unitarian Harvard.[21] Andover steered its students to Yale,[22] which was more hospitable to Calvinists.[23] This was due in part to the conservative influence of the seminary (whose endowment and facilities were superior to the academy's[24]), and in other part to the fact that Andover's constitution explicitly required Andover to profess and teach Calvinist theology.[25][26] The constitution also required all teachers and trustees to be Protestants, although Andover no longer enforces this restriction.[27]

Certain New England families were drawn to Andover's reputation for theological conservatism. In the 1880s, the bulk of Andover students came from Congregationalist (mainly Calvinist) and Presbyterian households, and the academy enrolled "almost no" Unitarians or Methodists.[28] However, by the 1900s, Calvinism was no longer popular in New England, and Andover Theological Seminary was facing declining enrollment.[29] In 1907, the seminary reconciled with Harvard and returned to Cambridge.[30]

Today, Andover and Exeter are now both nonsectarian institutions, and the rivalry no longer carries religious overtones.

Revival as college-preparatory institution[edit]

Student body, Phillips Andover, 1910

After a period of decline, Cecil Bancroft (h. 1873–1901), Alfred Stearns (h. 1903–33), and Claude Fuess (h. 1933–48) led Andover through a long era of expansion that transformed Andover into one of the largest and richest prep schools in the United States. Bancroft improved Andover's academic reputation; he reformed the curriculum to the expectations of college presidents and visited the English public schools to learn about best practices in Europe.[31] Aided by a "sink-or-swim" policy of expelling underperforming or undisciplined students, the academy was able to place a majority of its students at Yale, Harvard, or Princeton (64% in 1931 and 74% in 1937).[32] Enrollment, which had fallen from 396 students in 1855 to 177 in 1877, rebounded to roughly 400 by 1901 and passed 700 in 1937.[33]

To compete with newer, fully residential boarding schools, the headmasters built new on-campus housing and modernized the academic facilities, a process that took over a generation to complete. Shortly after taking over, Bancroft recognized that Andover's historical reliance on local families for student housing was hurting its reputation.[34] By 1901 Andover provided housing for approximately one-third of boarders; by 1929 all boarders could finally live on campus.[35] Much of this expansion was funded by banker Thomas Cochran '90, a partner at J. P. Morgan who had no children and wanted to make Andover "the most beautiful school in America."[36] Cochran donated roughly $10 million to Andover (approximately $181 million in February 2024 dollars); for reference, when he died his estate was probated at $3 million.[37] In 1928, as many as 15,000 people visited Andover's campus to hear President Calvin Coolidge deliver the keynote address at Andover's 150th anniversary celebration, a speech that Cochran had arranged.[38]

Andover Battalion cadets training at the school in 1918.

During this period, Andover was a primarily white and Protestant institution, although its expanding scholarship program and occasional steps toward racial integration made it relatively diverse by New England boarding school standards. The share of scholarship boys steadily increased from 10% in 1901 to roughly 25% in 1944.[39] Andover was one of the first New England boarding schools to accept black students, starting in the 1850s.[40] However, it had just five black students when Bancroft died in 1901,[40] and black representation actually declined under Bancroft's successors: only four African-Americans attended Andover between 1911 and 1934.[41] The academy admitted more Jewish students but capped their numbers at roughly 5% of the student body.[42] Andover was also one of the first American schools to educate Chinese students, participating in the 1872–1881 Chinese Educational Mission; one student, Liang Cheng, later became the Chinese ambassador to the United States.[43]

In the 1930s, Andover participated in the International Schoolboy Fellowship, a cultural exchange program between U.S. boarding schools, British public schools, and Nazi boarding schools.[44] As U.S.-Germany relations deteriorated, Andover terminated the arrangement in 1939 at the State Department's request.[45] Following America's entry into World War II, over 3,000 Andover graduates participated in the war effort in some capacity, with 142 deaths.[45]

Post-war to present[edit]

John Kemper (h. 1948–71) updated the curriculum and improved salaries and benefits for faculty members.[46] Under his leadership, Andover co-authored a study on high school students' preparation for college coursework, which led to the creation of the Advanced Placement program.[47][48][49] Although tightening academic standards at elite universities and increased competition from public schools caused Andover's college placement record to decline significantly during Kemper's administration—the proportion of graduates attending Yale, Harvard, or Princeton fell to 55% in 1953 and 33% in 1967—nearly every major boarding school endured similar declines during this period.[50]

Like many other boarding school administrators, Kemper and his successors also sought to democratize the campus. Andover began to admit more black students in the 1950s and 1960s, but progress was slow; by 1978, 6% of the student body was black or Hispanic.[51][52] Andover abolished secret societies in 1949, although one society still exists.[53][54][55] It also abolished mandatory attendance at religious services in the early 1970s.[56] Phillips Academy became co-educational in 1973, when it merged with its sister school Abbot Academy.[57]

During this period, Andover also began coordinating policy with other large and wealthy secondary schools. In 1952, the Ten Schools Admissions Organization began coordinating outreach to potential applicants and streamlining the admissions process.[58] After Kemper's retirement, Andover became a founding member of the Eight Schools Association, an informal group of headmasters of large boarding schools that began meeting in the 1970s and formalized in 2006.[59][60]

Raynard S. Kington has been Head of School since 2019. He was previously the president of Grinnell College in Iowa.[61] The previous Head of School was law professor (and 1990 Exeter graduate) John Palfrey,[62] who left Andover to take over the MacArthur Foundation.[63] The academy is supervised by a board of trustees, all of whom are alumni except the Head of School.[64][65][66] It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.[67]

Admissions and student body[edit]

Admission policies[edit]

Phillips Academy is one of the most selective boarding schools in the United States, especially in light of its size. In 2016, four boarding schools had an acceptance rate lower than 15%, and Andover was larger than the other three put together.[68] The acceptance rate normally hovers around 13%,[69][70][71] but during the COVID-19 pandemic, it fell to 9% in 2022.[71]

Andover has practiced need-blind admission since 2007.[72] Andover and Exeter are the only two co-educational prep schools in the United States that both admit students on a need-blind basis and offer financial aid that covers 100% of demonstrated financial need for every admitted student.[73][74][75]

About one of every eight Andover students (12.9%) has a parent who attended Andover, and at least one out of every five Andover students has a sibling who attended Andover.[76]

Student body[edit]

Student body composition (2021–22)[77][78]
Race and ethnicity PA Massachusetts
White 36.5% 36.5
69.6% 69.6
Asian 33.0% 33
7.7% 7.7
Black 10.2% 10.2
9.5% 9.5
Hispanic 10.5% 10.5
13.1% 13.1
Multiracial 9.3% 9.3
2.7% 2.7

Andover enrolls a student body that is more racially diverse than Massachusetts, although the numbers vary significantly depending on whether respondents are permitted to identify as two or more races. The academy reports that 59% of students identify as people of color.[79]

For the 2021–2022 school year, Andover reported that 36.5% of its students were white, 33.0% were Asian, 10.2% were black, 10.5% were Hispanic, 0.5% were Native American/Alaska Native, and 9.3% were multiracial. The survey in question did not allow Andover to identify one student in multiple categories.[77]

By contrast, a March 2023 survey conducted by Andover's student newspaper (to which 81.0% of the student body responded) found that 50.2% of Andover students identified as white, 42.9% as Asian (including 25.8% as Asian Americans), 13.4% as black (including 8.6% as African American), 10.9% as Hispanic or Latino, 1.4% as Native American/Alaska Native, and 1.3% as Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. This survey allowed students to identify with multiple categories.[80] The percentage of black students represents a significant increase from 2021, when 10.4% of students identified as black and 6.8% as African American.[76]

Andover enrolls a large international student population, representing approximately 15% of the student body. In March 2024, Andover enrolled 184 international students, of whom 55 were U.S. citizens living abroad.[81] Conversely, a quarter of the student body lives off campus in neighboring communities.[71]

The student body is relatively affluent and politically liberal. As of March 2023, 95.4% of Andover students have at least one parent who graduated from college, 46.8% of students have family household incomes over $250,000/year, compared to the 11.3% of students with family household incomes under $100,000/year (another 22.9% do not know their family income). 38.8% of students identified as liberal, 13.3% as independent, 8.6% as conservative, and 8.0% as either communist or socialist (another 26.5% were unsure as to their political affiliation). 21.6% of students identified as agnostic and 21.1% as atheist, compared to 22.5% who identified as "Christian," 16.9% as Catholic, and 5.4% as Protestant (students could select multiple choices). In addition, 6.4% of students identified as ethnically Jewish and 5.3% as religiously Jewish.[80]



Gelb Science Center was opened in 2004.

Phillips Academy follows a trimester program, where a school year is divided into three terms lasting around ten weeks each.[82] With 232 teaching faculty, a 7:1 student-faculty ratio, and an average class size of 13, Andover is able to offer 300 courses and a faculty-guided independent research option.[79][83] Courses may last one, two, or three terms.[83] Although Andover helped create the Advanced Placement program, the academy de-emphasized AP classes in the 21st century, citing a desire to maintain curricular flexibility and independence.[84]

Andover does not rank students. It calculates GPA using a 6.0 scale instead of the usual 4.0 scale, where a 6 is considered outstanding, a 5 is an honors grade, and a 2 is a passing grade.[85] A March 2023 student survey found that the average GPA was 5.41; it was 5.18 in 2018.[80]

Andover also runs a five-week summer session for approximately 600 students entering grades 8-12,[86] which dates back to 1942.[87]

Test scores[edit]

Andover does not publicly report its students' standardized test scores, explaining that many colleges have adopted test-optional admission policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.[88][85] The Class of 2019's average combined SAT score was 1460 (720 reading, 740 math), and its average combined ACT score was 31.1.[89]

Grade levels[edit]

In the 2022–23 school year, Andover enrolled 214 freshmen (in academy jargon, "juniors"), 276 sophomores ("lowers"), 311 juniors ("uppers"), and 348 seniors and postgraduates ("seniors" and "PGs"), for a total enrollment of 1,149 students.[90][91]


Academy Hill Historic District
Phillips Academy
Memorial Bell Tower
LocationAndover, Massachusetts
Architectural styleMid 19th Century Revival, Other, Federal
MPSTown of Andover MRA
NRHP reference No.82000475
Added to NRHPOctober 7, 1982
Andover's old campus core.

The old core of Phillips Academy's campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Academy Hill Historic District.[92] It includes the historic campuses of Phillips Academy, Abbot Academy, and Andover Theological Seminary, the latter of which sold its buildings to Phillips Academy when it left Andover in 1907.[93][92]

In the 1920s and 1930s, Andover added new buildings around this campus core, including the administrative building, library, dining hall, art gallery, chapel, math building, and dormitories.[36] Many of the buildings were named after notable Americans, some (but not all) of whom attended Andover.[94]

Portions of Andover's campus were laid out by Andover alumnus Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park.[95] Beginning in 1891, Olmsted and his architectural firm advised Andover on campus design; this relationship would continue for the next five decades.[96]

Notable academic facilities[edit]

  • George Washington Hall hosts the school's administrative offices and the Drama and Art Departments. It also hosts the school post office, locker rooms, and Day Student Lounge. It was built in 1926.[94]
  • Bulfinch Hall hosts the English Department. It was built in 1819 and renovated in 2012. It was named after architect Charles Bulfinch, who taught the hall's architect Asher Benjamin.[97]
  • Pearson Hall hosts the Classics Department. It was built in 1817.[98] It was formerly the chapel of Andover Theological Seminary.[99]
  • Morse Hall hosts the Math Department, the student radio station, some student publications, and the Community and Multicultural Development department. It was built in the 1920s/1930s. It was named after Samuel Morse '05, who invented the telegraph and Morse code.[94]
  • Gelb Science Center hosts the Science Department and an observatory. It was built in 2004.[100] It was named after donor Richard L. Gelb '41, the heir to the Clairol hair care company.[101]
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL) houses over 80,000 books and contains classroom space.[102] It was built in 1929 and renovated in 1987 and 2019.[103] It is named after Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. '25, the poet and physician. Built in the Georgian Revival architectural style,[103] it has been modernized over the years and now contains a silent study room and a makerspace.[104][105] In 2019, the Internet Archive commended the OWHL for digitizing its books and allowing the Internet Archive to lend them to third parties (controlled digital lending).[106] However, in 2023 a New York federal court ruled that this practice was copyright infringement.[107] The ruling is under appeal.[108]

Student facilities[edit]

Visitors by the American elm in front of the library.
  • Cochran Chapel hosts religious services and the philosophy, religious studies, and community service departments. It is the only building on campus named for the Cochran family, who built much of the modern-day Andover campus.[36]
  • Paresky Commons is the dining hall. It was built in 1930 and underwent a $30 million renovation in 2007. It is named after David Paresky '56, a former Andover scholarship student who funded the 2007 renovation.[109]
  • Cochran Wildlife Sanctuary covers 65 acres and contains the Log Cabin, a place for student groups to hold meetings and sleep-overs.
  • Rebecca M. Sykes Wellness Center offers physical and mental health facilities.
  • Andover has two athletic centers: the 98,000-square-foot Snyder Center[110] and the 70,000-square-foot Pan Athletic Center.[111]
Western dormitory quadrangle ("West Quad").

The academy's dormitories vary in size from as few as four to as many as 40 students, and are organized into five "clusters" of roughly 220 students and 40 faculty affiliates each. Many social events are organized through the cluster system, including orientation, study breaks, and snacks.[86][112] None of the original dormitory buildings remain; the oldest dorm is Blanchard House, built in 1789. Two dormitory names carry on the Andover Theological Seminary tradition: America House, where the song America was penned by a seminarian, and Stowe House, where American writer Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom's Cabin) lived while her husband taught at the seminary.[113]

The academy also operates the Andover Inn, which has 30 guest rooms and various event spaces. It was built in 1930 and renovated in 2009–2010 and 2023.[114][115]


Winslow Homer's Eight Bells

The Addison Gallery of American Art is an art museum donated by Thomas Cochran in memory of Keturah Addison Cobb, the mother of his friend Zaidee Cobb Bliss.[116][117] It is open to the public, and underwent a $30 million renovation and expansion from 2008 to 2010.[118][119]

The gallery's permanent collection includes Winslow Homer's Eight Bells, along with work by John Singleton Copley, Benjamin West, Thomas Eakins, James McNeill Whistler, Frederic Remington, George Bellows, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, Frank Stella, and Andrew Wyeth. The museum also features collections in American photography and decorative arts, with silver and furniture dating back to precolonial America and a collection of colonial model ships. The gallery also features rotating exhibitions.

The Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology was founded in 1901. The academy bills it as "one of the nation's major repositories of Native American archaeological collections."[120] Unlike the Addison Gallery, the Peabody Institute is accessible to researchers, public schools, and visitors only by appointment.

The collection includes materials from the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, Mexico and the Arctic, and range from Paleo Indian (more than 10,000 years ago) to the present day. Since the early 1990s, the museum has been at the forefront of compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.[citation needed]


Phillips Academy's extracurricular activities include music ensembles, a campus newspaper, an Internet radio station (formerly broadcasting as WPAA), and a debate club.

Andover's weekly student newspaper, The Phillipian, claims to have been publishing since 1857.[121] If true, it would be the nation's oldest secondary school newspaper, ahead of Exeter's The Exonian.[122] However, the official school history questioned the 1857 date, noting that no further issues were published until 1878, the same year The Exonian began publishing.[123][124] According to the Phillipian website, the newspaper is "entirely uncensored and student run."[121]

The Philomathean Society is the nation's second-oldest high school debating society, after Exeter's Daniel Webster Debate Society.[125]

Andover students operate the Phillips Academy Poll, the first public opinion poll to be conducted by high school students. In 2022, the poll was featured by Boston Channel 7 News and The New Yorker, among others, after releasing polling results for the 2022 midterm elections.[126][127] The original pollsters graduated in 2023,[128] and the current status of the poll is unknown.[129]



An Andover crew races on the Merrimack River.

Athletic competition has long been a part of the Phillips Academy tradition. As early as 1805, some form of "football" was being played on campus; that year, Eliphalet Pearson's son Henry wrote that "I cannot write a long letter as I am very tired after having played at football all this afternoon."[130] (The first game of what is now known as American football was played in 1869, and resembled soccer more than gridiron football.[131]) Andover participated in the first-ever high school football game, playing Adams Academy in 1875.[132] The school organized an athletics department in 1903 with the objective of "Athletics for All."[133]

Andover football team posing for the school newspaper in 1883.

Today, Andover is an athletic powerhouse among New England private schools. Andover athletes have won over 110 New England championships in the last three decades.[citation needed] Some teams have even competed internationally; for example, the boys' crew has competed at England's Henley Royal Regatta.[134]

Andover is not part of any formal athletic conference, but it is a member of the Six Schools League, a group of the northernmost members of the Eight Schools Association;[135] it is also a member of the Eight Schools Athletic Council, another initiative of the ESA.[136][137] In postseason play, Andover's teams compete in playoffs organized by the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council.[138]


Andover offers 29 interscholastic programs and 44 intramural or instructional programs, including fencing, tai chi, figure skating, and yoga.[139]

Fall athletic offerings

Winter athletic offerings

Spring athletic offerings

  • Baseball
  • Crew
  • Cycling
  • Dance (Ballet, Modern, Hip-Hop; Beg–Adv levels)
  • Fencing (instructional)
  • FIT (Fundamentals In Training)
  • Golf
  • Gunga FIT ("extreme" version of FIT)
  • Lacrosse
  • Outdoor Pursuits (S&R)
  • Pilates
  • Softball
  • Squash (instructional)
  • Swimming (instructional)
  • Tennis
  • Tennis (intramural)
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Ultimate Frisbee (intramural)
  • Volleyball (boys')
  • Water polo (girls')
  • Yoga


Endowment and expenses[edit]

As of June 30, 2023, Phillips Academy's financial endowment was $1.32 billion.[79] In its Internal Revenue Service filings for the 2021–22 school year, the academy reported $110.2 million in program service expenses and $22.9 million in grants (primarily student financial aid).[140]

The academy conducted a "record-setting" fundraising campaign from 2017 to 2023, raising $408.9 million.[141] The campaign added over $103 million to the academy's financial aid endowment and raised $121 million to upgrade health, dormitory, library, music, and athletic facilities.[141]

Tuition and financial aid[edit]

In the 2023–24 school year, Phillips Academy charged boarding students $69,600 and day students $53,950, of which financial aid covers approximately $43,000.[142] The academy has a need-blind admission policy, and 45% of students receive financial aid.[142] The academy also commits to meet 100% of each admitted student's demonstrated financial need, as determined by the academy's financial aid department.[142]

In the twenty-first century, tuition charges at Phillips Academy have significantly increased. In the 2018–19 academic year, Phillips Academy charged boarding students $55,800 and day students $43,300, placing it among the most expensive boarding schools in the world.[143][144]

Tuition at Phillips Academy since 2001
Year Boarding Tuition Day Student Tuition Year/Year Boarding Increase %
2001–2002[tuition 1] $26,900 $20,900 (?)
2006–2007[tuition 2] $35,250 $27,450 6.82%
2011–2012[tuition 3] $42,350 $32,850 2.54%
2016–2017[tuition 4] $52,100 $40,500 3.58%
2021–2022[145] $61,950 $48,020 3.50%
2022–2023[146] $66,290 $51,380 7.01%
2023–2024[142] $69,600 $53,950 4.99%
2024–2025[147] $73,780 $57,190 6.01%


In 2013, Phillips Academy drew national attention for apparent bias against girls and women, as highlighted by a low number of girls in student leadership.[148]

Reports in 2016 and 2017 identified several former teachers who had engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with students in the past. The academy hired an independent law firm to investigate allegations of misconduct, and the head of school, John Palfrey, and the head of the Board of Trustees, Peter Currie, sent an email to the Andover community stating that such transgressions must not recur.[149]

In 2020, an Instagram account, @blackatandover, began circulating stories from anonymous current and former Black-identifying students, many of whom detailed personal experiences with racism at Phillips Academy. Several individuals raised concerns about Phillips Academy's disciplinary system, including perceived racial disparities in outcomes, a perceived emphasis on punishment over restorative justice, and an apparent lack of due process in discipline procedure outlined by the student handbook. The @blackatandover account was reported on by The New York Times, prompting academy officials to form an "Anti-Racism Task Force," which released a final report in March 2022.[150][151][152]

Notable alumni[edit]

Andover has educated two U.S. presidents (George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush), a Supreme Court justice (William Henry Moody), six Medal of Honor recipients (Civil War: 2; Spanish–American War: 1; World War II: 2; Korean War: 1),[153] five Nobel laureates (making it one of only four secondary schools in the world to have educated five or more Nobel Prize winners), as well as winners of Tony, Grammy, Emmy and Academy Awards. It has educated numerous billionaires, including venture capitalist Tim Draper; private equity pioneer Ted Forstmann; oil heir and environmental philanthropist Ed Bass; and media heir Lachlan Murdoch.

Other notable alumni[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Andover, often in combination with Exeter,[155] is understood symbolically as an "elite New England prep school", connoting privilege. Writer William S. Dietrich II described Andover and other elite prep schools as being part of a "WASP ascendancy" during the first half of the twentieth century.[156] Elite universities such as Yale and Princeton tended to accept disproportionate percentages of prep school students while using quotas to deny admission to minority applicants.[156] An account in Time in 1931 described the two academies as having "flourished", and that both were "twin giants of prep schools in size and in prestige".[157] Joe Lieberman called them feeder schools for Ivy League universities such as Harvard and Yale.[158] A cultural image from the 1960s was young men who had "perfect white teeth" and wore Lacoste shirts,[159] with a look easy to identify by young women at the time:

They can tell just by looking at him whether a boy goes to an Eastern prep school or not. Not only that, they can tell which prep school, usually St. Paul's or Hotchkiss or Groton or Exeter or Andover, or whatever; just by checking his hair and his clothes.

— Tom Wolfe in his book Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine[160]

The WASP ascendancy began to break down around the 1960s and onwards when the admissions policies of elite prep schools and universities began to emphasize merit rather than affluence.[156] Still, images of exclusivity based on unfairness tended to remain. Gore Vidal suggested that Andover and Exeter had a "style that was quite witty."[161] If the WASP ascendancy has waned, the image of unaffordability continues to persist, with one writer deploring how the schools cost $30,000 and more annually.[162]

Despite some shifts, the school's image continues to connote exclusivity, prestige, and academic quality.[citation needed] For example, Florida governor Ron DeSantis regularly criticized Andover, Exeter, and Groton in his stump speech during his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.[163]

The academy is often mentioned in books and film, and on television. Some examples include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ andover.edu. "Admission - Frequently Asked Questions - General". Phillips Andover. andover.edu. Archived from the original on July 15, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  2. ^ andover.edu. "Admission & Financial Aid > Tuition". Phillips Andover. andover.edu. Archived from the original on February 21, 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  3. ^ andover.edu. "Admission & Financial Aid > Tuition". Phillips Andover. andover.edu. Archived from the original on November 27, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  4. ^ andover.edu. "Admission & Financial Aid > Tuition". Phillips Andover. andover.edu. Archived from the original on May 12, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2018.


  1. ^ Sherwood Owen Dickerman, De argumentis ... (Halle, 1860) p. 107; abbreviated "Phillip. Acad." on the official seal
  2. ^ "Phillips Academy (school, Andover, Massachusetts, United States) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  3. ^ Allis Jr., Frederick S. (1979). Youth from Every Quarter: A Bicentennial History of Phillips Academy, Andover. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England. pp. 48–51.
  4. ^ Allis, p. 55.
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Further reading[edit]

  • Cookson, Peter W., Jr., and Caroline Hodges Persell. Preparing for Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools (Basic Books, 1985) online
  • McLachlan, James. American Boarding Schools: A Historical Study (1970) online

External links[edit]