In the case of School Year Abroad’s familiar symbol, four interlaced points around a central circle, one could say it was a simple statement of the organization’s first strategic plan. In the minds of the founders the four points were to represent Spain, France, Russia . . . and Andover. For, at the time of its creation, SYA was a Phillips Academy high school study abroad program, run out of headmaster John Kemper’s office; and the Soviet Union was seen as a safe and permanent part of the geopolitical world.
Much has changed since 1964-65, both in the world at large and at SYA.
As SYA grew to include schools in France, Spain, China and Italy, the four points of the stone carving came to represent those four countries as well as the four points of the compass, an interpretation that gave our symbol the flexibility to embrace additional future schools. The Celtic knot now represents for SYA the four corners of the globe and the unlimited connections among the people who inhabit it.