Phillips Exeter Academy

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Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy Seal.png
Non Sibi
(Not for Oneself)
Finis Origine Pendet
(The End Depends Upon the Beginning)
Χάριτι Θεοῦ
(By the Grace of God)
Exeter, New Hampshire, USA
TypeIndependent School, boarding
Religious affiliation(s)none
PrincipalThomas Hassan
Enrollment1,071 total
858 boarding
213 day
Average class size12 students
Student to teacher ratio5:1
CampusTown, 619 acres (2.51 km2)
127 buildings
Color(s)Crimson and Gray          
Athletics20 Interscholastic sports
60 Interscholastic teams
MascotLion Rampant
Average SAT scores697 verbal
709 math
693 writing [1]  (2012)
Endowment$1.08 billion (as of June 2013)[2]
Annual tuition$46,900 (boarding)

$36,110 (day)[3]

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Coordinates: 42°58′48″N 70°57′04″W / 42.98000°N 70.95111°W / 42.98000; -70.95111

Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy Seal.png
Non Sibi
(Not for Oneself)
Finis Origine Pendet
(The End Depends Upon the Beginning)
Χάριτι Θεοῦ
(By the Grace of God)
Exeter, New Hampshire, USA
TypeIndependent School, boarding
Religious affiliation(s)none
PrincipalThomas Hassan
Enrollment1,071 total
858 boarding
213 day
Average class size12 students
Student to teacher ratio5:1
CampusTown, 619 acres (2.51 km2)
127 buildings
Color(s)Crimson and Gray          
Athletics20 Interscholastic sports
60 Interscholastic teams
MascotLion Rampant
Average SAT scores697 verbal
709 math
693 writing [1]  (2012)
Endowment$1.08 billion (as of June 2013)[2]
Annual tuition$46,900 (boarding)

$36,110 (day)[3]


Phillips Exeter Academy (also known as Exeter or PEA) is an elite,[4] prestigious,[5][6] American private college preparatory school for boarding and day students between the 9th and 12th grade. It is a large co-educational school, with over 1,000 students. It was founded in 1781 by John Phillips, a wealthy American merchant and early patron of schools.

Exeter is located in Exeter, New Hampshire, capital of the state during the American Revolutionary War, in the historic New England region, and is one of the oldest secondary schools in the United States. It is a member of the Ten Schools Admissions Organization, founded by ten leading American private preparatory schools in 1956, as well as the global G20 Schools group.

Exeter has a long list of distinguished former students. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, novelist Dan Brown and novelist John Irving are amongst Exeter's notable living alumni. The school has educated generations of the upper-class New England establishment and the American political elite, although the school has made an effort to move away from this reputation and diversify its intake in recent years.

Exeter is particularly noted for its innovation and application of Harkness education, a system based on a conference format of teacher and student interaction, similar to the Socratic method of learning through asking questions and creating discussions. The Harkness method and table is used in every subject taught at the school, and has been widely replicated in private secondary schools throughout the region.

Phillips Exeter Academy students and alumni are called "Exonians," and 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 2013 was valued over $1 billion. The Economist has described the school as belonging to "an elite tier of private schools" in Britain and America that counts Eton and Harrow in its ranks.[7] The school's facilities had been described "as luxurious as the nation's top universities" by The New York Times.[8] Phillips Exeter Academy had an acceptance rate of 19% for the 2013 school year.[9]


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.[10] The present principal, Thomas Hassan, is the 14th in the capacity and the 2nd First Gentleman of New Hampshire as the husband of Governor Maggie Hassan. Students are housed in 26 single-sex dormitories, each headed by a dormitory head, selected from members of the faculty. Almost all the school's pupils go on to universities, of which nearly a third go to the Ivy League.[11]

Exeter has grown over two centuries to become a much larger school than it has been for much of its history. The school's first enrolled class counted 56 boys;[12] in 1970, when the decision was made to embrace co-education, there were 700 boys.[13] Present-day enrolment stands at over 1,000 of a roughly equal ratio from both sexes.



John Phillips, the founder of Phillips Exeter Academy

Phillips Exeter Academy was established in 1781 by the merchant, banker, and public servant Dr. John Phillips and his wife Elizabeth. John was a great-grandson of the Rev. George Phillips, first minister of Watertown, Massachusetts and founder of the Congregational Church in America, who arrived on the ship Arbella with Governor Winthrop in 1630. John Phillips had made his fortune as a merchant and banker before going into public service, and played a key role in financially supporting his nephew Samuel Phillips found and write the charter for his own school in Andover, Massachusetts three years earlier. 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." [14]

Phillips had previously been married to Sarah Gilman, wealthy widow of Phillips's cousin, merchant Nathaniel Gilman,[15] whose large fortune, bequeathed to Phillips, enabled him to endow the Academy.[16] 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 boasted seven Gilmans.[17][18] In 1814, Nicholas Gilman, signer of the U.S. Constitution, left $1,000 to Exeter to teach "sacred music." [19]

John Phillips was also the uncle of Samuel Phillips, Jr., who had founded Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1778. As a result of this family relationship, the two schools also share an academic rivalry to match their athletic one.[20]

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. One of the Trustees, the Reverend David McClure, of North Hampton, N. H., delivered a speech on the "Advantages of an Early Education," drawing parallels between Greece and Rome on one hand and the new American republic on the other, and emphasized the role of education in upholding the new nation.[14]

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

First Academy Building c. 1910, where the school opened in 1783

"Above all, it is expected that the attention of instructors to the disposition of the minds and morals of the youth under their charge will exceed every other care; well considering that though goodness without knowledge is weak and feeble, yet knowledge without goodness is dangerous, and that both united form the noblest character, and lay the surest foundation of usefulness to mankind."[20]

At the opening assembly of every school year, the Principal of the Academy speaks on the subject of the Deed of Gift and its continuing relevance. In this same spirit, the greatest responsibilities to which the faculty and administration hold the students accountable are those of honesty and academic diligence.

In 1859, authors Austin J. Coolidge and John B. Mansfield wrote of Exeter's graduates:

"Such a galaxy of names as appear upon the catalogue of this institution will not, perhaps, be found in connection with any other academy on this continent."[21]
Edward S. Harkness, benefactor

Harkness gift[edit]

On April 9, 1930, philanthropist and oil magnate Edward Harkness wrote to Exeter Principal Lewis Perry regarding how a substantial donation that Harkness would make to the Academy might be used to fund a new way of teaching and learning:

What I have in mind is a classroom where students could sit around a table with a teacher who would talk with them and instruct them by a sort of tutorial or conference method, where each student would feel encouraged to speak up. This would be a real revolution in methods.


The result was Harkness teaching, in which a teacher and a group of students work together, exchanging ideas and information, similar to the Socratic method. In November 1930 Harkness gave Exeter $5.8 million to support this initiative. Since then, the Academy's principal mode of instruction has been by discussion, "seminar style," around an oval table known as the Harkness table.[23]


The Academy became coeducational in 1970 when 39 girls began attending.[24] Today the student body is roughly half boys and half girls.

In 1996, to reflect the Academy's coeducational status, a new gender-inclusive Latin inscription Hic Quaerite Pueri Puellaeque Virtutem et Scientiam ("Here, boys and girls, seek goodness and knowledge") was added over the main entrance to the Academy Building. This new inscription augments the original one – Huc Venite, Pueri, ut Viri Sitis ("Come hither boys so that ye may become men").[25]


Classes at Exeter are held Monday through Friday, though Wednesday is a half day. Until the 2012-2013 school year, Exeter also held half day classes on Saturday. Now, there are about six Saturday classes in Fall term, and only one or two in each of Winter and Spring terms. Exeter uses an 11-point grading system, in which an A is worth 11 points and an E is worth 0 points. Exeter has a student-to-teacher ratio of about 5:1.[26] A majority of the faculty have advanced degrees in their fields.[27]

Students who attend Exeter for four years are required to take courses in the arts, classical or modern languages, computer science, English, health & human development, history, mathematics, religion, and science. Most students obtain an English diploma, but students who specialize in Latin and Ancient Greek can obtain a Classics diploma. The earning of a Classics diploma is a highly lauded achievement, and can only be obtained by students with a strong academic focus in the classical languages offered at the Academy.[28]

There is a long tradition of prizes, usually allotted at the Prize Day assembly. Exceptions are Graduation Day awards, the Lamont Young Poet Award, and national awards.

Harkness teaching method[edit]

Most classes at Exeter are taught around Harkness tables. No classrooms have rows of chairs, and lectures are virtually nonexistent.

At Exeter, math teachers assign problems from workbooks that have been written collectively by the Academy's math department. From these custom workbooks, students are assigned word problems as homework. In class, students present their solutions of the problems at the board. In math class at Exeter, students are not given theorems, model problems, or principles beforehand. Instead, students learn theorems and principles as they work through the word problems.

The completion of the Phelps Science Center in 2001 meant that all science classes, which previously had been taught in more conventional classrooms, could also be conducted around the same Harkness tables.[29]

Classes at Exeter are small, with only 8–12 students in each class. Small class sizes and the Harkness tables enable all students to participate. These Harkness classes feature heavily in Exeter's identity and its day-to-day life.

Elements of the Harkness method, including the Harkness table, can now be found at academic institutions across the globe.[30][31]

Notable faculty[edit]

Off-campus study[edit]

Exeter's tenth Principal, Richard Ward Day, believed in the value of students studying outside Exeter, and broadening their experience and education in this way. During Day's tenure, the Washington Intern Program and the Foreign Studies Program began.

The academy currently sponsors trimester-long foreign study programs in Stratford, Grenoble, St. Petersburg, Eleuthera, Göttingen, Ballytobin, Taichung, and San Fernando;[34] as well as school-year abroad programs in Beijing, Rennes, Viterbo, and Zaragoza.[35] The academy also offers foreign language summer programs in France, Japan, Spain, and Taiwan.

Exeter offers the Washington Intern Program, where students intern in the office of a senator or congressional representative. Exeter also participates in the Milton Academy Mountain School program, which allows students to study in a small rural setting in Vershire, Vermont.


Originally, Exeter was effectively a preparatory school for Harvard, much as its archrival Phillips Academy was seen as a Yale feeder school. Today Exonians matriculate to many top universities across America and abroad. Averaged over many years, more Exeter students go to Harvard than to any other single college or university, but the number matriculating to Harvard in a single year is not always the highest.[36]

Members of the classes of 2010–2012 most frequently enrolled at Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Tufts, Princeton, and Dartmouth.[37]

Student body[edit]

The Academy claims a tradition of diversity.[38] During the Civil War, three white students from Kentucky confronted the then-principal Gideon Lane Soule over the presence of an African-American student at Exeter. When they demanded that the black student be expelled on account of his color, Soule replied, "The boy is to stay; you may do as you please." [39]

1909 advertisement for the school

One of Exeter's unofficial mottoes – "Youth from Every Quarter" – is taken from the Deed of Gift, and is widely quoted and emphasized in the introductory course for freshmen in the fall.[40] This phrase has also guided the Academy's admissions policies. Exeter's longtime Director of Scholarships H. Hamilton "Hammy" Bissell (1929) worked for decades to enable qualified students from all over the U.S. to attend Exeter.[41]

Currently, the Exeter student body includes students from 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and 35 countries. Students of non-European descent comprise 37% of the student body (Asian 20%, Black 9%, Hispanic/Latino 7%, Native American 0.6%). Legacy students account for 13% of the students. Of new students entering in 2012 (a total of 340), 54% attended public school and 46% attended private, parochial, military, home, or foreign schools.

Most Exeter students – 80 percent – live on campus in dormitories or houses. The remaining 19 percent of the student body are day students from the surrounding communities.[42]

The Academy uses a unique designation for its grade levels. Entering first-year students are called Juniors (nicknamed "Preps"), second-year students are Lower Middlers ("Lowers"), third-year students are Upper Middlers ("Uppers"), and fourth-year students are Seniors. Exeter also admits postgraduate students ("PGs").[43]


Tuition and financial aid[edit]

Tuition to Exeter for the 2012–2013 school year is $44,470 for boarding students and $34,540 for day students. In addition, each student will spend an estimated $850 for books. Mandatory fees are $845 for boarding students and $350 for day students. There are also optional fees of $1310 for discretionary services.[44]

Exeter offers needs-based financial aid. Since 2008, students whose family income is $75,000 or less have received a free education, including tuition, room and board, travel, a laptop, and other miscellaneous expenses;[45] many families earning up to $200,000 receive partial assistance. Since 2007, financial aid has been entirely in the form of grants that do not need to be repaid. From 2004–2008, Exeter admissions were effectively needs-blind, but in 2008, the school announced that the decline in its endowment forced it to suspend that policy.[46]

A previous President of the Academy's Trustees, Charles T. "Chuck" Harris III, a former Goldman Sachs managing partner, attended Exeter on full scholarship. "Everything I am is a result of that experience," Harris has said of financial aid, "and I'd like to think there's some opportunity like that for every kid in the world."[47]


Exeter's endowment as of 30 June 2013 is $1.08 billion.[48] This is the third-highest endowment of any American secondary school, behind the $9.0 billion endowment of Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii,[49] and the $7.8 billion of the Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania. Due largely to the successful investments of the school and gifts from wealthy alumni, the school has an endowment of just under $1 million per student.[50]

According to The New York Times, Exeter devotes an average of $63,500 annually to each of its students, an amount well above the 2007-8 annual tuition of $36,500.[50] This money is spent on operating expenses, small classes (with a typical student-teacher ratio of no more than 12 to one), computers for students, financial aid, and Exeter's facilities, which include a swimming pool, two hockey rinks, and the largest secondary-school library in the world. Exeter also has a high-quality cafeteria, which serves such fare as made-to-order omelets for breakfast.[50]

Campus facilities[edit]

The Academy Building

Academic facilities[edit]

Athletic facilities[edit]

Other facilities[edit]

Phillips Church in 1911
View from the tower of Phillips Church in 1911, showing Alumni Hall (1903, now Mayer Art Center), and third Academy Building (1872–1914)
Abbot Hall


North Side[edit]


South Side[edit]



Exeter has a history of highly competitive athletic teams. PEA first organized its PEA Baseball Club on October 19, 1859, and on September 6, 1875, Exeter had the first meeting of the Phillips Exeter Academy Athletic Association. Captains of all Exeter's athletic teams were awarded the right to display Exeter's "E" on their sweaters, along with a certificate from the Phillips Exeter Academy Athletic Association authenticating their rights in writing.[20] The school's traditional rival is Phillips Academy (Andover), and the annual Exeter-Andover Football game has been played since 1878. The school is a member of the G20 Schools Group.

Students are required to participate in intramural or interscholastic athletic programs. The school offers 65 interscholastic teams at the varsity and junior varsity level as well as 27 intramural sports squads. Other various fitness classes are also offered.

Interscholastic sports[edit]

1903 football poster


Exeter's main rival is Phillips Academy (Andover). The rivalry is America's earliest between preparatory schools. Exeter defeated Andover 12–1 in the first ever baseball game played between these two academies on May 2, 1878. Andover, in turn, defeated Exeter 22–0 in football on November 2, 1878. One of Exeter's most notable football games took place in 1913 with a 59–0 victory over Andover. Exeter and Andover have competed nearly every year in football since 1878;[63] currently Andover leads in the number of games won, including the most recent meeting between the schools on November 9, 2013.

Other athletic opponents include New England schools such as Belmont Hill School, Berwick Academy, Deerfield Academy, Northfield Mount Hermon, Brewster Academy, Choate Rosemary Hall, Groton School, The Governor's Academy, Loomis Chaffee, Tabor Academy, Milton Academy, Avon Old Farms, Worcester Academy, Cushing Academy, and various other northeastern prep and boarding schools.[64]


The boys' water polo team has won twenty-two New England prep school championships. Until winter of 2008, boys' swimming had won 15 of the last 17 New England championships, placing runner-up both losing years. The cycling team is the defending champion. Wrestling has won the New England tournament 13 times as well.

Exeter is a fixture in New England championship tournaments in nearly all sports, missing the championship in both boys' and girls' soccer in 2005, and winning the New England Class A Championship in football in 2003 and 2009. In 2007, the boys' squash team finished second at the New England Division A Interscholastic Championship and fourth at the National High School Team Tournament. Both the men's and women's cross country teams have won the NEPSTA Championship multiple times in the past decade. The wrestling team has won more Class A and New England Prep School Wrestling Association titles than any other team, most recently winning the Class A tourney in 2007 and 2003 and the New England tourney in 2001. It has also crowned a National Prep Wrestling champion, Rei Tanaka, in 1990. Both the girls' and boys' ice hockey teams have won New England championships recently.

The boys' crew took first and fourth place at the U.S. Rowing Junior National Championships in 1996, 2002 and 2008 respectively.[65] In 2012 the boys' crew went to Henley-on-Thames in London to compete, but did not make it past heats. The boys' crew was the first organized sport at Exeter, and over its more than 100 years of competition has produced several Olympians, National Team members and numerous Division I rowers.

The girls' team took sixth place at the 2006 U.S Rowing National championships, fourth in 2007, third in 2008, second in 2009, and fourth in 2011. EGC swept the New England Championships in the 2009 and 2011 and has won the Gilcreast Bowl (overall team points) in 2012 (3rd and 2nd boats coming in first and 1st boat coming in second), 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 1999, 1996, and 1994. Olympians include Anne Marden '76, Rajanya Shah '92, Sabrina Kolker '98, and Andréanne Morin '00. Many Exeter Girls Crew graduates are recruited to Division 1 collegiate rowing teams and onto various national teams. In the past, many rowers at Exeter have pursued and achieved recognition on the US Junior National Team while still attending Exeter.

In 2012, Exeter Girls Crew attended Women's Henley Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, England. All races are "dual" races with only two crews competing at a time, but the bracket is single-elimination with no repechage races or petite finals. In the final, Exeter raced against Mount St. Joseph Academy of Flourtown, Pennsylvania. Mount St. Joseph were favored going into the final, having won at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta. In a photo finish, Exeter triumphed by a mere two feet–equivalent to less than one quarter second. For their victory, Exeter won the Peabody Cup and received memberships into the Vitrix Henley Women's Regatta Winners' Club.[66]

Student life[edit]

Student body, Phillips Exeter Academy, ca. 1903

Dress code[edit]

Exeter has a dress code. Boys are required to wear collared shirts and ties or turtlenecks. Girls are required to wear non-revealing, appropriate attire. Skirts and shorts must reach finger-tip length, and straps may not be less than two fingers wide. Jeans are allowed for both boys and girls; however, "hoodies", graphic t-shirts, or athletic wear are not permitted. Dress code is only required in the classroom setting and Assembly.[67]

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

The Academy has over 100 clubs listed. The number of functioning and reputable clubs fluctuates; several of the listed clubs on the website do not hold tables on Club Night. The Exonian is the school's weekly newspaper. It is the oldest continuously-running preparatory school newspaper in the United States, having begun publishing in 1878. Recently, The Exonian began online publication.[68] Other long established clubs include ESSO, which focuses on social service outreach, and the PEAN, which is the academy's yearbook.

Exeter also has the oldest-surviving secondary school society, The Golden Branch (founded in 1818), a society for public speaking, inspired by PEA's Rhetorical Society of 1807–1820. Now known simply as "Debate Team", these groups served as America's first secondary school organization for oratory and prepared students for the communication skills required for success at Harvard University.[69]

Residential life[edit]

Most students live in the dormitories. Each residence hall has several faculty members and senior student proctors. There are check in hours of 8:00pm (for first and second year students), 9:00pm (for third years), and 10:00pm (for seniors) during the weekdays and 11:00pm on Saturday night.[67]


Academy seal[edit]

Exeter has two chief symbols: a seal depicting a river, sun and beehive, incorporating the academy's mottos; and the Lion Rampant. The seal has similarities to that used by Phillips Academy—an emblem designed by Paul Revere—and its imagery is Masonic in nature. A beehive often represented the industry and cooperation of a lodge or, in this case, the studies and united efforts of Academy students. The Lion Rampant is derived from the Phillips family's coat of arms, and suggests that all of the Academy's alumni are part of the "Exonian family".

Exeter has three mottoes on the Academy seal: Non Sibi (Latin 'Not for oneself') indicating a life based on community and duty; Finis origine pendet (Latin 'The end depends on the beginning') reflecting Exeter's emphasis on hard work as preparation for a fruitful adult life; and Χάριτι Θεοῦ (Greek 'By the grace of God') reflecting Exeter's Calvinist origins, of which the only remnant today is the school's requirement that most students take two courses in religion or philosophy.[70]

School colors and the alumnus tie[edit]

There are several variants of school colors associated with Phillips Exeter Academy that range from crimson red and white to burgundy red and silver. Black is also a color associated with the school to a lesser extent. The official school colors are lively maroon and gray. The traditional school tie is a burgundy red tie with alternating diagonal silver stripes and silver lions rampant.

Notable alumni[edit]

Letter from President Abraham Lincoln to Mary Todd Lincoln, written from Exeter where Lincoln was visiting son Robert Todd Lincoln, then an Exeter student. March 1860

Early alumni of Exeter include US Senator Daniel Webster (1796); US President Franklin Pierce (1820); Abraham Lincoln's son and 35th Secretary of War Robert Lincoln (1860); Ulysses S. Grant, Jr. (1870), Richard and Francis Cleveland;[71] "grandfather of football" Amos Alonzo Stagg (1880); and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Booth Tarkington (1889). John Knowles, author of A Separate Peace and Peace Breaks Out, was a 1945 graduate; both novels are set at the fictional Devon School, which serves as an analog for his alma mater.

Exeter alumni pursue careers in various fields. Alumni noted for their work in government include Daniel Webster, Franklin Pierce, Gifford Pinchot, Lewis Cass, Judd Gregg, Jay Rockefeller, Kent Conrad, John Negroponte, Bobby Shriver, Robert Bauer and Peter Orszag. Those choosing military careers include historian George Bancroft and Charles C. Krulak. Authors George Plimpton, John Knowles, Gore Vidal, John Irving (whose stepfather taught at Exeter), Robert Anderson, Dan Brown (whose father taught at Exeter), Peter Benchley, James Agee, Chang-Rae Lee, Debby Herbenick, Stewart Brand, Norb Vonnegut and Roland Merullo attended the academy.

Other notable alumni include businessmen Joseph Coors, David Rockefeller, Jr., Pierre S. du Pont and Mark Zuckerberg; journalists Drew Pearson, Dwight Macdonald, James F. Hoge, Jr., Paul Klebnikov, Trish Regan, Suzy Welch and Sarah Lyall; actors Michael Cerveris, Jack Gilpin, and Alessandro Nivola; film director Howard Hawks; musicians Bill Keith, Benmont Tench, China Forbes, Ketch Secor, Win Butler and William Butler; historians Robert Cowley and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.; baseball players Robert (Red) Rolfe and Sam Fuld; educators Jared Sparks and Benno C. Schmidt, Jr.; composer Adam Guettel; humorist Greg Daniels; mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki; and computer scientist Adam D'Angelo (co-founder of Quora).

Other academic programs[edit]

Summer school[edit]

Each summer, Phillips Exeter hosts over 780 students from various schools for a five-week program of academic study. The summer program accommodates a diverse student body typically derived from over 40 different states and 45 foreign countries.[72]

Exeter's summer school is divided into two programs of study: Upper School, which offers a wide variety of classes to students currently enrolled in high school who are entering grades ten through 12 as well as serving post graduates; and Access Exeter, a program for students entering grades eight and nine, which offers accelerated study in the arts, sciences and writing as well as serving as an introduction to the school itself. Access Exeter curriculum consists of six academic clusters; each cluster consists of three courses organized around a focused central theme. Some of Exeter's summer school programs also give students the opportunity to experience studies outside of Exeter's campus environment, including interactions with other top schools and students, experience with Washington D.C., and travel abroad.[73]


The Academy offers a number of workshops and conferences for secondary school educators. These include the Exeter Math Institute; the Exeter Humanities Institute; the Math, Science and Technology Conference; the Exeter Astronomy Conference; and the Shakespeare Conference.[74]

The On Beyond Exeter program offers one week seminars for alumni. Most courses are held at the Academy but some meet in the locations central to the courses topic.

Historical endeavors[edit]

In 1952, Exeter, Andover, Lawrenceville, Harvard, Princeton and Yale published the study General Education in School and College: A Committee Report. The report recommended examinations that would place students after admission to college. This program evolved into the Advanced Placement Program.[75] [76]

In 1965 Exeter became the second charter member (after Andover) of the School Year Abroad program.[77] The program allows students to reside and study a foreign language abroad.

In popular culture[edit]

Certain works are based on Exeter and portray the lives of its students. Many are written by alumni who disguise Exeter's name, but not its character. Key works are listed below.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ the trustees of Phillips Exeter Academy. "FACTS 2012~2013". Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Andover Endowment Expands". The Phillipian. November 10, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Phillips Exeter Academy Tuition & Fees". 2013-2014. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Dan Brown, an Unlikely Hellraiser". The Independent. January 18, 2013. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Lifting, As She Climbs". Black Enterprise. March 1, 2004. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Towns Strive to Give Teens a Place of Their Own". The Christian Science Monitor. June 24, 1997. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Education in Britain and America, Learning lessons from private schools". The Economist. Jul 2, 2009. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  8. ^ "At Elite Prep Schools, College-Size Endowments". New York Times. January 26, 2008. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Governance at Exeter". Phillips Exeter Academy. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  11. ^ "A profile of one of America's 20 best prep schools". Forbes. April 29, 2009. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  12. ^ "William Woodbridge, 51". The Phillips Exeter Academy, A History. 1923. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Phillips Exeter To Go Coed". The Harvard Crimson. February 28, 1970. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "The Phillips Exeter Academy, A History" (TXT). Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  15. ^ "Behind Every Successful Man, Connie Brown, The Exeter Bulletin, Summer 2005" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  16. ^ Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, Charles Henry Bell, William B. Morrill, Exeter, N.H., 1883. 1883. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  17. ^ New Hampshire: A Guide to the Granite State, Federal Writers Project, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1938. 1938. ISBN 9781603540285. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  18. ^ General Catalogue of Officers and Students, 1783–1903, The Phillips Exeter Academy, News-Letter Press, Exeter, 1903. 1903. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  19. ^ the trustees of Phillips Exeter Academy. "Phillips Exeter Academy | Academy Chronology". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  20. ^ a b c Echols, Edward (1970). The Phillips Exeter Academy, A Pictorial History. Exeter Press. p. 49 
  21. ^ Austin J. Coolidge & John B. Mansfield, ''A History and Description of New England,'' Boston 1859. 1859. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  22. ^ Bass ... [], Jo Ann F. (2007). A declaration of readers' rights : renewing our commitment to students. Boston: A & B/Pearson. p. 67. ISBN 978-0205499793. 
  23. ^ the trustees of Phillips Exeter Academy. "Phillips Exeter Academy |Harkness". Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  24. ^ "Phillips Exeter Academy – Academy Chronology". 
  25. ^ Heskel, Julia; Dyer, Davis (2008). After the Harkness gift : a history of Phillips Exeter Academy since 1930. Exeter, N.H.: Phillips Exeter Academy. ISBN 0976978717. 
  26. ^ "Phillips Exeter Academy – Welcome". Retrieved 2013-02-23. 
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