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Phillips Academy (also known as Phillips Andover, Andover, or PA) is a co-educational independent boarding high school for boarding and day students in grades 9-12. The school is located in Andovermarker, Massachusettsmarker, 25 miles north of Bostonmarker.


Phillips Academy is one of the oldest boarding schools in the United States , established in 1778 by Samuel Phillips, Jr.. Phillips's uncle founded Phillips Exeter Academymarker three years later, starting a rivalry that has continued through the centuries. Phillips Academy's endowment stood around $787 million in January 2008, the fourth-highest of any American secondary school. Andover is subject to the control of the board of trustees, headed by Oscar Tang, a New Yorkmarker financier and philanthropist.

Andover traditionally educated its students for Yalemarker (and to a lesser extent, Harvardmarker and Amherstmarker), but students now matriculate to a wide range of colleges and universities.In recent years, Andover has sent the largest number of its students to Yalemarker, Harvardmarker, Columbia, University of Pennsylvaniamarker, Stanfordmarker, Princeton Universitymarker and other top-tier colleges and universities in the United Statesmarker and abroad. [26300]Among other notable alumni, Andover has educated two American Presidents, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, NFL Head Coach Bill Belichick, Law & Order creator Dick Wolf, four Medal of Honor recipients , inventor Samuel Morse, and author Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.. The Phillipian, the school's student-run newspaper, is one of the oldest secondary school newspapers in the US, first published in 1831. Likewise, the Philomathean Society is the oldest high school debate society in the nation, established in 1825.

The school's grading system, a scale of zero to six, is rather unusual. The Office of the Dean of Studies claims that there is no formal equivalent between the zero to six system and a conventional letter grade system. However, a six is considered outstanding and is (ideally) rarely awarded, a five is the lowest honors grade, and a two is the lowest passing grade. Andover is a member of the G20 Schools group.

Andover runs a five week Summer Session program for students entering grades 8-12 that is attended by approximately six hundred students per year. The program offers academic courses in subjects such as English, foreign language, science, and history. Students must also attend afternoon activities such as gospel choir, badminton, and soccer. Financial aid is available on a limited basis. Younger students, or those entering the 8th grade, have the option of taking three classes while older students may take more. About half of the Summer Session teachers are Andover faculty.


Phillips Academy was founded during the American Revolution as an all-boys school in 1778 by Samuel Phillips, Jr., a member of the revolutionary war family, the Phillips. The great seal of the school was designed by Paul Revere. George Washington spoke at the school in its first year and was so impressed that he recommended that his nephews go there, which they did. John Hancock, the famous signer of the United Statesmarker Declaration of Independence, signed the school's articles of incorporation. Phillips Academy's traditional opponent is Phillips Exeter Academymarker, which was established three years later in Exetermarker, New Hampshiremarker by Samuel Phillips' uncle, Dr. John Phillips. There is a rivalry between the two schools. The football teams have met nearly every year since 1878, making it one of the oldest high school rivalries in the country.

Portions of Andover's campus were laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Parkmarker and himself a graduate of the school. It is dominated by neo-Georgian architecture and centered around the several-acre Great Lawn. Campus structures include the Memorial Bell Tower, which recently underwent a $5 million renovation, Samuel Phillips Hall, Bulfinch Hall, and Pearson Hall.

Paul Revere incorporated bees, a beehive, and the sun into his design of the school's seal. The school's primary motto, Non Sibi, located in the sun, means "not for oneself". This has led to the development of Non Sibi Day, a day when many of Andover alumni and all of its students participate in community service across the world. The school's second motto, Finis Origine Pendet, meaning "the end depends upon the beginning," is scrolled across the bottom of the seal. Phillips Academy was chartered to educate "qualified youth from every quarter."

Phillips Academy offers a broad curriculum and extracurricular activities that include music ensembles, 30 competitive sports, a campus newspaper, a radio station, and a debate club. The academy raised $208 million through "Campaign Andover," which brought its endowment to around $550 million in 2004. In 1973, Phillips Academy merged with neighboring Abbot Academymarker, which was founded in 1829 as the first school for girls in New Englandmarker and named for Sarah Abbot.

Phillips Academy is one of only a few private high schools (others include Roxbury Latin and St. Andrews School) in the United Statesmarker that attained need-blind admissions in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, Phillips Academy matriculated 81% of its admitted students, the highest rate among any ESA school . In 2009, it received its most applications (2,308) and highest selectivity rate (16.6%), and 79% of admitted students matriculated there.


Academic facilities

Samuel Phillips Hall
  • Bulfinch Hall was designed by a student of architect Charles Bulfinch and built in 1819. It is now the English Department building.

  • The Gelb Science Center, named after wealthy alumnus Richard Gelb, opened for classes in January 2004. The center contains twenty laboratories, classrooms, seminar rooms, instrument rooms, preparatory areas, study-session spaces, and a rooftop astronomical observatory; it is the newest building on campus, having replaced the older Evans Hall which was built in 1963 and demolished following the completion of Gelb.

  • Graham House is used by both the school's Psychology Department and the school's psychological counselors.

  • Morse Hall is home to the Math Department, student publications, CAMD (Community and Multicultural Development), WPAA — a student run radio station, and many of the student run publications, such as The Phillipian, the student run newspaper, as well as Pot Pourri, the student run yearbook. Morse Hall is named after Samuel Morse, who graduated from Phillips Academy in 1805 and later invented the telegraph and Morse code.

  • Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL) takes its namesake from the poet Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., an 1825 graduate of Phillips Academy. The library houses 140,000 books, the Phillips Academy Computer Center (PACC), a video library, and subscriptions to roughly 250 periodicals in print, and access to many thousands of titles electronically.

  • Samuel Phillips Hall was built in 1924 and named after the founder of the school. This building houses the World Languages Department and the History and Social Sciences Department, as well as the "Language Learning Center," a computer lab with video, audio, and programs designed to supplement classroom work in language classes.

  • Pearson Hall, one of the oldest structures on campus, is the classics building. The only subjects with classes that meet in Pearson are Latin, Greek, Greek literature, mythology, and etymology. It was named after the school's first headmaster, Eliphalet Pearson. The Board of Trustees recently announced that Pearson might turn into a Community Center, but the plan has since been put on hold due to a strong response from students, faculty, and alumni.

Student facilities

  • Cochran Chapel is a neo-Georgian church located on the north side of campus, and is the center of religious life on campus for students and faculty. It is also home to the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and the Community Service Program. The Chapel hosts many concerts, lectures and gatherings throughout the year, and a weekly All School Meeting is held here on Wednesdays.

  • Paresky Commons is the school's dining hall. It has four large dining rooms along with three smaller rooms, which may be utilized by classes or speakers for eating in a more personal environment. Students are often intensely loyal to specific dining rooms—lower left, lower right, upper left, and upper right. Commons also houses the Ryley Room, a grill-style student hangout, in the basement of Commons. Both Commons and the Ryley Room underwent renovations from winter of 2007 until spring of 2009. The temporary dining facility, Uncommons, was located inside the Sumner Smith Hockey Rink. Use of "Uncommons" has since ceased, and the building will soon be converted into a general purpose athletic facility. One concern during the decision to renovate Commons was the issue of the original staircases throughout the building. Worn down from generations of students over the years, these "indented" stairs carried significant sentimental value for both current students and alumni. As a result, the original stairs remain a permanent fixture in the new Commons.

  • George Washington Hall was built in 1926. The building serves numerous functions, including an administration building (Head of School's office, among others), a post-office (the students' mail room), the Day Student lounge and locker area, and the school's arts complex (containing the Elson Art Center, the Polk-Lillard Electronic Imaging and Audio-Visual Center, and both the Tang and Steinbach theaters).

  • Graves Hall is the music building, with classrooms, a concert hall, a record library, and practice studios.

  • The Log Cabin is located in the Cochran Wildlife Sanctuary on the northeastern edge of campus and serves as a place for student groups to hold meetings as well as sleep-overs.

In addition to the above mentioned facilities, the school also includes a number of dormitories to serve the roughly 800 students that board. These buildings range in size from housing as few as four to as many as 40 students. Two notable dorms are America House, where the patriotic hymn America was penned, and Stowe House, where American writer Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom's Cabin) lived while her husband taught at the Andover Theological Seminarymarker. Stowe is also buried on campus in a cemetery behind Samuel Phillips Hall. None of the original buildings remain; the oldest dorm is Blanchard House, built in 1789. Several dorms are named after prominent alumni, such as Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War during WWII, and men instrumental in the founding of the Academy, such as Nathan Hale and Paul Revere. Shortly before his death in 1799, United States President George Washington gave a speech from a second floor window in Carriage House, now a dorm, to the citizens of Andover.


Winslow Homer's Eight Bells, part of the Addison Gallery's Permanent Collection

See full article Addison Gallery of American Art.

The Addison Gallery of American Art is an art museum given to the school by alumnus Thomas Cochran. Its 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 pre-colonial America, and a fine collection of colonial model ships. A rotating schedule of exhibitions is open to students and the public alike. In the spring of 2006, the Phillips Academy Board of Trustees approved a $30 million campaign to renovate and expand the Addison Gallery. Construction on the Addison began in the middle of 2008 and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2010. During this period, the Addison Gallery will be closed to the public.

The Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archeology was founded in 1901 and is now "one of the nation's major repositories of Native American archaeological collections." [26301] The collection includes materials from the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, Mexico and the Arctic, and range from Paleo Indian (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. It currently serves as an educational museum for the students of Phillips Academy, but is also accessible to researchers, public schools and visitors by appointment.



Athletic competition has long been a part of the Phillips Academy tradition. As early as 1805, football was being played on school grounds, according to a letter that Henry Pearson wrote his father, Eliphalet Pearson in 1805, saying, “I cannot write a long letter as I am very tired after having played at football all this afternoon.” The first ever interscholastic football game between high schools was in 1875, when Phillips Academy played against Adams Academymarker.One of the oldest schoolboy rivalries in American football is the Andover/Exeter competition, started in 1878. That year, the first Andover/Exeter baseball game took place, and the first edition of The Phillipian was published.

Today, Phillips Academy is an athletic powerhouse among New England schools. Since the Constitution of the Phillips Academy Athletic Association was drawn up in 1903 with the objective of “Athletics for All”, Andover has established twenty-nine different interscholastic programs, and forty-four intramural or instructional programs, including fencing, tai-chi, figure skating, and yoga. [26302]. Andover Athletes have been successful in winning over 110 New England Championships in these different sports over the last three decades alone [26303], and have even had the chance to compete abroad, in such competitions as the Henley Royal Regatta in Henley, Englandmarker for crew [26304].As a way to encourage all students to try new things and stay healthy, all students are required to have an athletic commitment every term. A range of instructional sports are available for those who wish to try new things, and for those already established in a sport, each team has at least a varsity and junior varsity squad.


Fall athletic offerings Winter athletic offerings Spring athletic offerings


Sport Championship year
Cross Country-B 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006
Cross Country-G 1992, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Field Hockey 1993
Football 1995, 1997, 1999
Soccer-G 1993, 1999, 2007, 2009
Soccer-B 1981, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004
Volleyball-G 1993, 2003, 2006
Swimming-G 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009
Swimming-B 2007
Basketball-G 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2000
Indoor Track-G 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
Indoor Track-B 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995
Baseball 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008
Crew-B 1989, 2003, 2007, 2009
Crew-G 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006
Lacrosse-G 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003
Softball 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2001
Ultimate 2006
Boys' Volleyball 2007
Outdoor Track & Field-G 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2008, 2009
Outdoor Track & Field-B 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
Water Polo-G 1997

Secret societies

Phillips Academy has had a long tradition of secret societies. Almost from the inception of the school, societies existed publicly, with buildings that the students could use as clubhouses. While the societies held secret initiation rituals, their presence was recognized as part of academy life. In the 1940s, their existence was widely criticized, even drawing the attention of then Secretary of War Henry Stimson, an Andover and society alum. Bending to public pressure, societies were disbanded in 1949 by Headmaster Kemper.

Although it appears that all secret societies were terminated in the 1940s, it has been rumored that some societies still exist to this day. During the final exam period, a tub has been known to appear on the terrace of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library filled with cans of soda for the faculty and students. This is believed to be the secret society T.U.B., and many members of the Phillips Academy campus believe this organization still exists underground today.

In popular culture

  • In Chapter 17 of The Catcher in the Rye, Sally Hayes introduces Holden to a boy who "reeked of Andover and Yale."
  • In the John Guare play Six Degrees of Separation, one of the characters laments that his parents could not afford to send him to Andover or Exetermarker.
  • In Eloise, the six year old's tutor is said to have attended Andover.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise has several characters who attended Andover.
  • In Scent of a Woman, Charles Simms tries to start an argument with the irascible Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade by saying that "... I believe President Bush went to Andover."
  • In A Beautiful Mind, John's imaginary roommate refers to Andover and Exeter in a rooftop conversation.
  • In Gossip Girl, they mention a friend who goes to Andover.
  • In Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Jimmy Murtaugh said he had two kids at Andover and one at Exeter.
  • In an episode of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air - Will has Carlton give him a makeover to impress a girl. Carlton tells Will to say he went to "Andover" and Will retorts, "Bend-over"
  • In Gilmore Girls, Logan mentioned that he spent some time at a boarding school in Andover.

Notable alumni


  1. The Governor's Academy (formerly Governor Dummer Academy), alma mater of Samuel Phillips, Jr., was founded in 1763, but was not given a state charter until after 1778.
  2. The three secondary schools with higher endowments are: Phillips Exeter ($1.0 billion; see [1]), the Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania, and Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii ($6.8 billion; see[2]).
  3. The pattern of strongly favoring Yale began in the 1840s and continued through the 1940s. During those years, when the senior class numbered around forty, Andover graduates matriculated as follows: 1858 - 20 to Yale, 10 to Williams; 1863 - 21 to Yale, 8 to Brown, 5 to Harvard; 1868 - 25 to Yale, 12 to Amherst, 12 to Harvard. The height of matriculation to Yale was 1937, when one freshman in ten at Yale was an Andover alumnus. In that year, 74% of the class matriculated at Yale, Harvard or Princeton. By 1957, only 47% matriculated at those institutions. Amherst consistently ranked third after Yale and Harvard for many years in this period, but declined after the 1940s when the school sought to admit more public school graduates. In 1950, for the first time in over a century, more graduates were admitted to Harvard than Yale (64 and 46, respectively)(See Youth From Every Quarter: A Bicentennial History of Phillips Academy, Andover, by Frederick S. Allis, Jr. (University Press of New England, 1978)).
  4. Phillips Academy, Memorial Bell Tower Renovated
  5. Phillips Academy raises $208.9 Million
  6. Phillips Academy Andover, New Gelb Science Center
  7. Information about America and Stowe House
  8. Find-A-Grave Entry on Harriet Beecher Stowe, buried on Phillips Academy Campus
  9. Addison Campaign Home
  10. Addison Campaign News
  11. Addison Gallery Hompage
  12. Henry Pearson to Eliphalet Pearson, Andover, 26 October 1805, in the Pearson Papers, Phillips Academy Archives.
  13. Quinby, Phillips Academy, Andover on Diamond, Track, and Field (Andover, Mass.: The Andover Press, 1920), 10.
  14. Harrison, Fred H., Athletics for All: Physical Education and Athletics at Phillips Academy, Andover, 1778-1978 (Andover, Ma.: 1983) [3]
  15. Harrison, Fred H., Athletics for All: Physical Education and Athletics at Phillips Academy, Andover, 1778-1978 (Andover, Ma.: 1983)
  16. dates of championship titles were gathered from the gym office and trophy case of the borden memorial gym, phillips academy, andover
  17. "Secret Societies once Clubs, Now Underground." The Phillipian

See also

External links

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