Phillips Family Building a Stronger and Better School for their Grandchildren

As a ‘recovering banker,’ Pat Phillips understands what it means to honor your debts. He and wife Debbie believe they are doing just that with their $50,000 gift to the CHARGING forward campaign.

“When people ask us why we support something, it’s because someone supported it for us,” he said.  “Somebody helped build the school. We didn’t help build the school. The school was already there. So we needed to do something, too, to help make it stronger and better.”

Stronger and better is certainly one of the aims of the comprehensive CHARGING forward campaign. A new academic center and campus gateway, expanded parking, enhanced safety, and fiscal sustainability through growth in the endowment are all elements that will enrich the student and teacher experience.

Of particular importance to the Phillips is the improvement in the physical aspect of the campus, although not because bricks and mortar are easy markers of success. They believe the impact is less tangible.

“The school’s facilities don’t make up the heart and soul and spirit of the school,” explained Pat. “But it would be wonderful to see the heart and soul and spirit of the school mirrored in the quality of instructional facilities we have.”

Acknowledging that has been achieved for most places on campus, Pat and Debbie are excited to see the new principal academic building reflect what they’ve come to love about Providence Day.

“I love to go and walk around campus and see the children,” said Debbie. “They all just seem so happy. Our grandchildren love the library, their classrooms.”

“It’s not just a building,” she added.  “It’s the people who are in it [that make it important].”  She wants the places on campus to support student learning and the teachers who create such a positive environment.

When considering their support of the CHARGING forward campaign, Pat and Debbie reflected on the experience of their daughter Katie and the lifelong friendships she made while at PD.  They are grateful for her education in the very broadest sense — not just what was taught in the classroom, but lessons of life.

“Those friendships and the teachers who make the experience come alive is why we ought to be supporting the school,” said Pat.  “While this next phase is largely about new buildings, it’s also a way to recognize who worked there to make it a special place for the students.”

“We owe to our children and their children the best experience they can have,” said Pat. For the Phillips family, it’s a debt to Providence Day they gladly honor.


Pat and Debbie Phillips are the proud parents of Sally Phillips Sacco and Katie Phillips Reed ’99 and grandparents of Carson ’23 and Connor ’26.