University Phillips Exeter Academy Degree


200px-Phillips_Exeter_Academy_SealPhillips Exeter Academy is a coeducational independent school for boarding and day students between the 9th and 12th grade. It is in Exeter, New Hampshire, and is one of the oldest secondary schools in the United States. It is noted for its innovation and application of Harkness education, a system based on a conference format of student interaction with minimal teacher involvement. It bears similarities to the Socratic method of learning through asking questions and creating discussions.

Phillips Exeter Academy students and alumni are called “Exonians,” and students, faculty and staff often refer to the school as “Exeter” or “PEA”. The school has the largest endowment of any New England boarding school, which as of June 30, 2014, was valued at $1.2 billion. The school has educated generations of the upper-class New England establishment and the American political elite, and it has introduced many programs to diversify the student population, including the introduction of a free education for families whose income is $75,000 or less. In 2015–2016, over 45% of students received financial aid from grants totalling over $19M. Phillips Exeter Academy had an acceptance rate of 17% for the 2017–2018 school year.[4]

The school’s day-to-day operation are headed by a Principal, while management of the school’s financial and physical resources are overseen by the Trustees. Trustees are drawn from former Exonians and appoint the Principal. The faculty of the school are responsible for governing matters relating to student life, both in and out of the classroom.[5] Students are housed in 26 single-sex dormitories, each headed by a dormitory head, selected from members of the faculty. Nearly a third of graduates go into the Ivy League.

The school’s first enrolled class counted 56 boys;[6] in 1970, when the decision was made to implement co-education, there were 700 boys.[7] Present-day enrollment stands at over 1,000 of a roughly equal ratio from both sexes.

It is a member of the Ten Schools Admissions Organization (founded in 1956), and the global G20 Schools group.
Phillips Exeter Academy was established in 1781 by John Phillips. Phillips had made his fortune as a merchant and banker before going into public service, and financially supported his nephew Samuel Phillips, Jr. in founding his own school, Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts, three years earlier. As a result of this family relationship, the two schools share a rivalry.[8] The school that Phillips founded at Exeter was to educate students under a Calvinist religious framework. However, like his nephew who founded Andover, Phillips stipulated in the school’s founding charter that it would “ever be equally open to youth of requisite qualifications from every quarter.”[9]

Phillips had previously been married to Sarah Gilman, wealthy widow of Phillips’s cousin, merchant Nathaniel Gilman,[10] whose large fortune, bequeathed to Phillips, enabled him to endow the academy.[11] The Gilman family also donated to the academy much of the land on which it stands, including the initial 1793 grant by New Hampshire Governor John Taylor Gilman of the Yard, the oldest part of campus; the academy’s first class in 1783 included seven Gilmans.[12][13] In 1814, Nicholas Gilman, signer of the U.S. Constitution, left $1,000 to Exeter to teach “sacred music.” [14]

The academy’s first schoolhouse, the First Academy Building, was built on a site on Tan Lane in 1783, and today stands not far from its original location. The building was dedicated on February 20, 1783, the same day that the school’s first Preceptor, William Woodbridge, was chosen by John Phillips.[9]

Exeter’s Deed of Gift, written by John Phillips at the founding of the school, states that Exeter’s mission is to instill in its students both goodness and knowledge:

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