Phillips Academy

Parent Bulletin

Phillips Academy

December 13, 2013

Andover experienced a taste of winter this week with a dusting of snow and falling temperatures. Students and faculty are focused on the new term, and there are signs of holiday spirit all over campus. All-School Meeting on Monday, December 16, will feature holiday music with student performances by the Hand Bell Choir, Chorus, and Jazz Band. A link to the recorded performance will be posted on the Parent Portal by Wednesday, December 18.


In Touch with…
The Reverend Anne Gardner, Director of Spiritual and Religious Life & Protestant Chaplain

With a new academic calendar this year, Cochran Chapel finds itself adjusting to a new December schedule. We began the term already in the throes of Hanukkah (the Jewish “Festival of Lights”), an observance that began on Thanksgiving. This rare overlap of holidays, last experienced in 1918, made for an even more celebratory start to the winter season.

For those in our Christian community, the first of the month began the season of Advent, a time of both waiting and anticipation. The annual community-wide “Messiah Sing,” organized by faculty member Christopher Walter, kicked off our liturgical calendar. This was followed by the traditional Lessons and Carols service. Amidst the long dark shadows of December, this combination of candlelight and music was indeed heavenly.

Along with traditional holiday fare, our faith community has been busy organizing additional programming. Just before Thanksgiving break, Iman Masmoudi ’14, head of the Muslim Student Association, offered a lecture as the inaugural PA Global Scholar. She spoke eloquently of the political, cultural, and religious complexities of Tunisia’s “Arab Spring.” In collaboration with this year’s Coed@40 programming, the Hindu Student Union premiered “The World Before Her,” the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival’s winner for best documentary. This movie examined both the cultural and religious underpinnings of the “Miss India” beauty pageant, along with the role of women in the country’s most militant Hindu fundamental camps. In all, a fascinating collection of events!

As we look forward to a new year of equally compelling programming, Catholic Chaplain Mary Kantor, Jewish Chaplain Michael Swarttz and I send you best wishes for 2014.

Off Campus Learning Opportunities 2014-2015

The Andover Institute hosted a well-attended open house this week featuring off-campus learning opportunities for students in 2014-2015. Interested students connected with program leaders, participating faculty, and alumni who have taken part in these global experiences. Representatives from the academy’s China, Brazil, France, Peru, India, and South Carolina programs were on-hand to answer questions. The evening also included representatives from external programs, including the Mountain School, The Island School, and School Year Abroad.

Students are encouraged to apply to Summer 2014 programs soon. For programs in China, Brazil, and India, the online application process will open December 18, and all applications are due by January 10, 2014. Information regarding the application process and deadlines for other programs is available from the program leaders. To find out more about the academy’s international and domestic programs for 2014-15, please visit:

Thank You from the Parent Fund

The November 20 Parent Fund Phonathon raised nearly $25,000—a tremendous start to the Parent Fund effort for the 2013-2014 school year! Ten current parents made more than 100 calls, and all who were contacted made a gift. Thank you!

Each year, approximately 75 volunteers assist in raising annual, unrestricted funds from Andover parents to support educational excellence. The goal is to reach every PA parent and we are fortunate to have a committed and generous parent population. The next phonathon will be held on campus on February 5, 2014; if you are interested in participating, please contact Stacy Gillis, associate director of the Parent Fund, at or 978-749-4275.

Holiday Break Reminder

Please remember that dorms will close at 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 19, 2013 and will reopen at 8 a.m. on Monday, January 6, 2014. Students may not enter the dormitories between these dates and times.

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