Phillips Academy secures $15 million commitment

Phillips Academy

The 90,000 square-foot facility will transform team experiences and enhance life sports for students, coaches, and fans of Big Blue

Phillips Academy alumnus and former varsity track captain Steve Snyder ’56 has pledged $15 million toward a new athletic center, a 90,000 square-foot facility that will transform team experiences and enhance life sports for students, coaches, and fans of Big Blue. Making the announcement today, Head of School John Palfrey expressed tremendous gratitude for Snyder’s commitment to a critical campus need.


Architectural design of the new facility to be located just north of Phelps Stadium.

The gift, made in honor of Snyder’s 60th reunion this June, will help fund construction of the athletic center, which will feature a 200-meter track, 12 international size squash courts, and multipurpose rooms. The convertible infield will be used for basketball, tennis, and indoor practice space for field sports. The center also will house events such as reunions and serve as a site for commencement activities.

Snyder’s commitment provides tremendous momentum toward the Academy’s fundraising goal of $34 million for the new building. The athletic center is Andover’s first investment in a longer range plan to upgrade and modernize its athletic facilities.

An eight-letter varsity track star at Andover, Snyder credits the sport with instilling in him a steadfast commitment to sportsmanship and hard work. “I gained confidence through track,” he said. “If you applied yourself, you could win—not only for yourself but for your team.”

Instrumental to his development as a student and athlete was the guidance of legendary track coach Steve Sorota. A member of the athletic department for 41 years, Sorota coached track and football and mentored thousands of students. “I learned how to believe in myself through the sport and Sorota’s coaching. He showed us that, with determination and dedication, we could succeed,” said Snyder.

“We are so grateful that Steve’s Andover experience—his admiration for Coach Sorota and lifelong relationships with classmates and friends—continues to have profound meaning in his life,” said Palfrey. “The generosity of Steve and his family ensures that generations of students will continue to develop their own personal connections while experiencing the joys of competition, teamwork, and camaraderie in a state-of-the-art facility.”

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