Abbot Academy was founded in 1829 by Sarah Abbot. This was the first completely female school in the country. Ms. Abbot gave all of her widow’s money to the school’s committee, mostly powerful men in Andover, and named the school after her for her generosity.
Abbot had a shaky start. The school had 6 headmasters in its first 15 years. But the school entered a golden age under Philena and Phebe McKeen in the 1950′s. The McKeen sisters expanded the campus and improved the academics. The curriculum matched or surpassed that of Phillips Academy, especially in modern languages.
Abbot Academy pushed the students into the Andover community. Many of the women attended town meetings and heard lectures at the Theological Seminary. The thoughtful and powerful women, including the first 70 graduates, launched themselves into the community.
In 1973, Abbot Academy merged with Phillips Academy. Though today many don’t know that Abbot even existed, that part of campus remains large and beautiful. The Abbot Academy Association honors the old academy by funding many of the projects within the Andover bubble. Last year, my hockey captain even got a grant to get speakers in our locker room at the ice rink. Thanks, Abbot!
Andover Stories saves the day again: http://www.andovertownsman.com/local/x1498155410/Andover-Stories-Abbot-Academy-a-leader-in-its-own-right-for-150-years