A century at Exeter: Loughlin family legacy endures

Philip Loughlin III '57; '76 (Hon.) gives to support financial aid to commemorate his father's 100th reunion.

June 21, 2023

Philip Loughlin III '57; '76 (Hon.) sits behind a desk in the study of his Massachusetts home. Bookcases filled with books and keepsakes frame him. Together with plaques, certificates, and photographs, they detail a family legacy that spans a century at the Academy. This includes Thomas Loughlin, Phil's son, who graduated from Exeter in 1987.

Phil recently welcomed visitors from the Academy to his home to discuss these items and Exeter's impact on his family. To recognize his 65th reunion and honor what would have been the 100th reunion of his father, Philip Loughlin Jr. '22, he made a gift to support financial aid at Exeter. When asked why he donated to recognize his father's milestone, Phil explained, "I have so much for which to thank him."

Philip Loughlin Jr. started his family's long-standing relationship with Exeter. He came to the Academy as an upper in 1920, residing in Soule Hall and serving as a manager for the track and tennis teams and as a church monitor. After Exeter, Philip Loughlin Jr. enrolled at Yale University. He later married Adelaide Jackson; their sons were Philip III and John.

Phil followed his father to Exeter and entered during the summer session of 1953. He has a formal photograph of the students that summer framed and hung on the wall near his 1957 diploma.

Phil attended Cornell after Exeter, earning a bachelor's degree in economics and later an MBA. However, he says the most important thing about Cornell is there he met his wife-to-be, Caroline Keller.

They married after graduation. Phil was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps and served a three-year tour of duty. Phil and Caroline next appear in St. Louis. He had a civilian job for a few years but left that to earn a doctorate in business from Saint Louis University. He entered academia in 1976 and taught courses in economics and finance at Maryville University for 23 years.

Phil and Caroline, who passed away in 2013, liked to read, though with different methods of completing books. Phil, a slow reader, enjoyed collecting books to own and eventually read, whereas Caroline would burn through books and donate them. Phil finally told her, "Just give me all the books you finish!"

His legacy as an Exeter alumnus includes six years as an Academy Trustee, the 1996 Founder's Day Award, and longtime financial support for the Class of 1945 Library. In 2019, to honor his friend and late Academy instructor Polly MacMullen, Phil established a permanent fund in her memory: the Priscilla (Polly) MacMullen, Class of 1976, Library Fund.

Now, he has reinforced his family's bond with the Academy with a gift to honor his father.