Phillips Academy

Parent Bulletin

Phillips Academy Head of School Office
Rebecca Sykes, associate head of school

January 6, 2012

New Year’s greetings! Students and faculty returned to campus earlier this week and the winter term’s smooth beginning has been enhanced by only short-lived frigid winter temperatures and a complete absence of snow and ice. What a change from last year!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2012

One of the highlights of the Academy’s celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 16th will be an All School Meeting presentation by Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In 2011, Mr. Hrabowski was named one of seven Top American Leaders by Harvard’s Kennedy School and The Washington Post and he was recently featured on 60 Minutes. Mr. Hrabowski has dedicated his life to educating America’s youth from all backgrounds and has a strong message for our students about racial conflict, justice and the importance of education born of his experiences as a child leader during the Civil Rights Movement. I encourage you to watch Mr. Hrabowski’s presentation when it is posted on the Parent Portal (It will be available January 20th.)

In Touch With…
Elisabeth Tully, Director of the OWHL library

Despite the gloom and doom predictions for libraries that seem to dominate the popular media, the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL) is alive and flourishing in the electronic age. That is partly because we realized long ago that “it’s not about the stuff.” Rather, our core mission is to educate your students to be efficient and effective users of information in support of their academic needs and person interests.

To fulfill that mission in the 21st century we collect a rich array of resources in all formats. While we continue to be committed to offering an exemplary print collection, the percentage of our total materials budget devoted to electronic resources has steadily inched upward over the past decade. It has become difficult to answer the question “How many books are in the library collection?”

In addition to our collection of more than 100,000 printed books we offer electronic access to more than 60,000 full text reference and academic titles and countless academic journal articles, newspapers, and primary source materials. These resources are available with unlimited simultaneous user access, 24/7. (Just in case your student does homework after the OWHL has closed for the night.) The books may be accessed using a computer or mobile device, and most may be organized, annotated and cited using tools provided in the software. We have a collection of ebook readers that students may borrow.

It’s a very exciting time to be a student researcher, and your kids are capable of making excellent use of these extraordinary resources—with a little help from the friendly information professionals at the OWHL.

Summer and Gap-Year Opportunities Fair on January 22

Students and parents are invited to attend PA’s 22nd annual Summer Opportunities Fair on Sunday, January 22. The event, which will be held in the Smith Center from noon until 3 p.m., provides an opportunity to meet with representatives from more than 90 local, national, and international summer programs. This year’s fair will also provide an increased emphasis on opportunities for a gap year, which is a year high school graduates can use to pursue other experiences before going off to college. A Gap-Year Information Session, featuring speaker Jane Sarouhan, will be offered from noon to 12:30 p.m. More information »

Upcoming Events

Sunday, January 8
Solar Winds Quintet, 3:00 p.m., Graves Hall
Free and open to the public. For more information, email

Sunday, January 15
Faculty Jazz Concert, 3:00 p.m., Graves Hall
Free and open to the public. For more information, email

Monday, January 16
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Friday, January 20 & Saturday, January 21
College Counseling Kick-Off Weekend for Parents of the Class of 2013 (see the Parent Portal for details).

Sunday, January 22
Summer Opportunities Fair, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Smith Center. Free and open to the public.

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