Suffield Academy

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Suffield Academy
SuffieldSeal.png
Location
Suffield, Connecticut
Information
Type Boarding
Founded 1833
Head teacher Charles Cahn III
Faculty 90 teachers
Enrollment 410 students
225 Boys, 185 Girls
(9-12, PG) 68% Boarding
Campus 368 acres (1.49 km2)
Color(s) Black and Orange
Athletics 19 interscholastic sports teams
Mascot Tiger
Website

Suffield Academy is a private coeducational preparatory school located in Suffield, Connecticut, USA. It was founded in 1833.

Overview[edit]

The school reports an enrollment of 410 students from 15 states and 27 countries at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. Boys slightly outnumber girls, and approximately two thirds of all students live on campus. Approximately 130 students from around the globe attend the Summer Academy, a program hosted by the school during the summer months.

Thirteen dormitories on campus house the boarding students with 90 faculty members serving as dormitory and student advisors as well as teachers and coaches.

History[edit]

Connecticut Literary Institute[edit]

In the mid-1820s, the Connecticut Baptists had made an announcement that they were looking to charter a private school, and whichever town could raise $10,000 would receive the charter. The residents of Suffield, eager to have a school in their town, were successful in raising enough money to win the charter. The school's initial building, later known as the Old South Building, was erected, and the school was opened under the title of Connecticut Baptist Literary Institute in 1829.

The early mission of the school was to educate young men for the ministry. Despite its founding links to the Baptist Church, the Institute quickly moved towards a non-denominational model, and in 1833 and was renamed Connecticut Literary Institute, locally known as CLI.[1] The Institute was the only high school in town, and local tax dollars helped pay for each student's tuition.

From the founding of the school, Suffield has had a commitment to diversity. International students were welcomed in the 1830s, girls gained admittance in 1843, and African American boys and girls joined the community in the late 19th century. The school was renamed the Suffield School in 1916, and restructured as a "Military School for Boys" two years later, featuring military-style regimentation, field manoeuvers, and riflery.

In 1937 the school was renamed Suffield Academy. It is now considered among the country's premier coeducational independent schools.

Campus history[edit]

The first building of the Institute was the Old South Building. It stood on the property which is now the grounds of the S. Kent Legare Library. The town of Suffield, owing to a long history of libraries, had begun the process in 1894 to erect a new public library. This drew the attention of Sydney A. Kent, a Connecticut Literary Institute graduate and Chicago businessman. Mr. Kent offered the town $35,000 to build a the new library, under the provision that he could dedicate in the name of his parents. With the assistance of his funds, the town purchased the property from the Institute, and in 1897, began new library's construction with the demolition of Old South. Its architect was Chicago-based Daniel Burnham. On November 1, 1899, it the new building was christened and dedicated as the Kent Memorial Library.

In 1974, the town of Suffield moved the Kent Memorial Library to its present location at 50 Main St., and the Academy purchased the property back. After a sizable addition was made to the back of the library, it was renamed the S. Kent Legare Library in 1976. The other buildings created during the years of the Institute were Memorial Hall (1854), Fuller Hall (1886), and the North Hall (late 19th century), which sat behind Fuller and Memorial, and was demolished in the 1930s.

During the Headmaster tenure of Appleton H. Seaverns, the Academy saw a visible change in its campus. Brewster Hall, The Infirmary, Holcomb Hall, and Perry Gymnasium were all added all in the 1950s. Also, much-needed renovations and modernizations were made on Fuller and Memorial, the most dramatic being that of Fuller, where details such as its 4th floor, front veranda, dining hall, and ornate Victorian embellishments were replaced with simpler windows, a third floor, Cupola, offices for administration, and other architectural shifts characteristic of post-war modernism.

In addition, a number extra dormitories were added on a plot of land opposite the school, which included the then-dedicated Kulle House, Proctor House, William Fuller House, and Bissell House. These dormitories operated until the advent of the Academy's new dormitory quadrangle, located behind Spencer Hall, in 1999. They currently serve as faculty residence and daycare facilities. Spencer Hall, a dormitory housing more than fifty students, was opened in 1964.

The Academy has also made a number of residential acquisitions along North Main St., currently using them for both student and faculty. Barnes House, Academy House, Nathena Fuller House, and Montgomery Street House all serve as dormitories.

Suffield's campus saw another change as it approached the 1990s. The Performing Arts Center saw its opening in 1988. The parking lots behind Memorial Hall, as well as Holcomb Hall, suddenly disappeared. In 1997, the Infirmary, having been behind Brewster Hall since its inception, was moved to a new building near the Performing Arts Center, and the old building became the new home of the school's art department. Various landscaping took place, as well as the installation of the campus-wide fibre optic computer network. By the end of the 20th century, the school had successfully prepared itself for the new millennium.

A major campus master plan has been executed under the leadership of current Headmaster Charles Cahn III. This construction was fully funded by the school's largest-ever capital campaign. The campaign generated gifts for Tisch Field House, Rockwell hall (a new dormitory), Guttag Music Center, and a new health center and synthetic turf athletic field. Headmaster Cahn's tenure has also been marked by a significant increase in Suffield's applicant pool and annual giving. Nearly 1,000 students applied for 110 available spaces for the 2011 academic year.

School renewal[edit]

During the early 1950s, the school was in a period of decline. Specifically, the school's endowment was comparatively lower than similar schools, the physical plant was in need of revitalization, and enrollment was suffering due to the opening of the town's first public high school in 1939.

In 1952, the school hired Appleton H. Seaverns as the new headmaster. A dynamic young educator from West Hartford, Connecticut, Seaverns led a period of renewal for the school. Under his leadership, the physical plant improved, and the endowment significantly grew. Many of the buildings in use today were built during his tenure. Seaverns laid the foundation for the powerful and successful school that exists today.

Late 20th century[edit]

Since popular headmaster Ap Seaverns' tenure ended, Suffield has had several headmasters of note. Headmasters Paul Sanderson, Ken Lindfors and David Holmes guided the school through key moments that have shaped the school today. In 1974, the school returned to its co-educational roots, from being an all-boys school.

Dr. David R. Holmes was appointed in 1991 as the first alumnus to be made headmaster. During his tenure, the school began the Laptop Initiative, the Leadership Program, and the outdoor leadership program. Headmaster Charlie Cahn has been a member of Suffield's faculty since 1992. He served as an English teacher and lacrosse coach, then a Director of Admissions, Dean of Faculty, and Associate Headmaster. he was named Headmaster-elect in 2002 and became Suffield's 25th headmaster in 2004. A successful strategic plan has placed Suffield in a very enviable position, with a commitment to an enrollment of 400 students, small classes, a low student-teacher ratio, and a beautiful campus in an historic New England town.

Computer initiative[edit]

In 1992, Suffield Academy was the first high school in the United States to require students to own a laptop computer. Suffield Academy runs all Macintosh computers. The school has a computer lab with the latest equipment, a computer repair center, and several computer-oriented classes. Students interested can be trained in basic Macintosh repair in the computer repair center.

Today, Suffield Academy's network is extensive. All academic buildings are equipped with wireless and ethernet computer access. Printers are spread out over campus and can be accessed wirelessly. Each student is granted an account in the server, in which they can back up and transfer their files.

Students' activities are not actively monitored, and no content is filtered. Suffield believes that it is a student's responsibility to use the network wisely.

Academics[edit]

Suffield Academy follows a liberal arts academic program. Each student is given an academic advisor, and the students may utilize academic support services if needed, including a student-run and faculty-advised Writing Center. Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum. The school features a Leadership Program. Each student is placed with a College Counselor to aid in the college application process.

Curriculum requirements[edit]

To earn a Suffield diploma, students must complete 4 credits in English, 4 credits in Mathematics, 2 credits in Foreign Languages (including study through Level II), 3 credits in science, 3 credits in History (including U.S. History), and 1 credit in the Arts.

Each student must complete 2 Technology Portfolios (one in grades 9 and 10, if enrolled, and one in grades 11 and 12). Each student must take a minimum of 4 classes per semester, each senior year course must be completed successfully, and each senior must pass each spring term-length course.

Leadership program[edit]

Suffield's liberal arts curriculum is highlighted by its unique Leadership Program. Each student is involved, and the courses include a focus on personal mastery skills, public speaking, community service work and practical leadership experiences.

The aim of Suffield Academy's Leadership Program is to develop human beings with skills and habits that lend themselves to making a significant and positive impact on society. The program emphasizes seven core elements (personal mastery, moral foundation, goal setting, communication skills, problem solving, self-awareness and inspiring/motivating others), highlights distance traveled for each individual student's growth, and prides itself on experiential learning.

Suffield Outdoor Leadership Opportunities (SOLO) is the outdoor portion of the Leadership Program. SOLO gives students opportunities to practice leadership skills in an outdoor setting. By experiencing activities (rope courses, a climbing wall, camping trips and afternoons canoeing), students are able to use their leadership skills in the real world. SOLO is offered as an alternative to interscholastic athletic competition during all three seasons (fall, winter and spring). The Courtney Robinson Outdoor Leadership Center, a renovated barn situated on 40 acres (160,000 m2) of farmland to the west of campus, serves as home base for SOLO. The barn contains a state-of-the-art climbing wall, storage space for canoes and other equipment, and classroom and office space. In 2007, a high-ropes course was built outside the barn, and has become an integral part of the SOLO program.

Athletics[edit]

Suffield competes regularly in a number of interscholastic sports, with a total of 19 teams.[2] There are Varsity, JV, Thirds, and Fourths levels throughout various sports. The school's main rival is the Williston Northampton School, however they also compete against a number of schools including, but not limited to, Deerfield Academy, Hotchkiss School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Berkshire School, Kent School, Wilbraham and Monson Academy, and Cushing Academy.

Suffield's aquatics programs, especially the boys' water polo and swim team, have received much acclaim. The water polo team has appeared at the New England Prep Tournament every year for the past six years, winning in 2009 and always placing in the top six.[3] The swim team has also achieved much success. The girls have appeared five times in the past six years at New Englands, with last year's season earning them a fourth place spot.[4] Similarly, the men have also placed five times just over five years, with their 2010-2011 record earning them fourth place.[5]

The Wrestling team has produced 4 Prep National Champions, 17 New England Champions, and many other recognized athletes, as well as winning the Western New England Prep Championships in their 2010-2011 season.[6] In addition, the riflery team has been the Connecticut League State Champions back to back for the past three years.[7]

Suffield's football team has won the New England Super Bowl in three of the past four years, with students continuing on to play at UPenn, Brown University, Rutgers University, and Boston College.[8] During the Spring season, baseball and boys track and field shine, as the former has earned four championships in the past five years[9] and the latter with two championships and a runner-up spot in the past three years.[10]

Facilities[edit]

Perry Gymnasium contains a basketball court, rifle range, wrestling room, six-lane championship swimming pool, Nautilus center with free weights, and locker rooms. The Squash Center features four international squash courts, while the Hirschmann Tennis Courts (10 courts) provide for seasonal play. Surrounding the campus are a new turf field, six soccer fields, a football field and all-weather track, baseball and softball diamonds, a field hockey field, three lacrosse fields, and cross-country trails. Facilities for skiing (Nordic and alpine), snowboarding and golf are available nearby. The Courtney Robinson Outdoor Leadership Center includes a 35-foot (11 m) indoor rock climbing facility, complete with a crack, cave, overhanging structures, aretes, and a ceiling with 15 quick-draws. The Outdoor Leadership Center also houses canoes, kayaks, snowshoes, cross country skis, stoves, tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, rock shoes and harnesses. During the 2007-2008 academic year, the school added both high- and low-ropes courses to the center. Tisch Field House, completed in January 2009, is connected to Perry Gymnasium. It houses an additional four international squash courts and two basketball courts with an all-purpose surface to allow for indoor practices for various sports throughout the year. The field house also contains brand new, state-of-the-art athletic training facilities. Also added in 2008-2009 is a state of the art recording studio (The Academy | Recording Studio ) ( now defunct) and performance space that is used for live musical performances and dance ensembles.

Arts: Visual and Performing[edit]

Suffield Academy takes pride in their support of their Visual Art, Performing Arts, and Music programs. Programs in the Visual Arts include Studio Art, Photography, Multimedia, Architecture, and Ceramics, and in Theater and Music: Acting, Dance, Chamber Ensemble, Woman’s Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and a wide variety of selections for private lessons in instruments including vocal training.[11] The Visual Art Department greatly contributes to the beauty of the Suffield Academy campus with artwork, photography, and sculptures inside and outside academic buildings. The department also collaborates with the English Department to produce an Arts Review Magazine filled with art and literature completed by current students.[12] Suffield’s Performing Art Center also presents many performances for their community throughout the year, such as a Fall Arts Festival, Winter Musical, Spring Play, Guitar Show, Dance Concert, and Vocal and Instrumental Concerts.[13]

Notable Alumni[edit]

Alumni Description
Willis Seaver Adams 1862 Painter, attended Connecticut Literary Institute sporadically between 1857 and 1862
Dr. John R. Adler 1972 Professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University Medical Center and inventor of the CyberKnife
H. Meade Alcorn 1926 Former Hartford State’s Attorney and majority leader and House speaker in Connecticut’s House of Representatives. Former Republican Party Chairman.
Stewart Alsop II 1971 Venture capitalist and former computer industry columnist for Fortune magazine
Pia Bungarten 1975 Public servant and Division Chief for International Dialogue at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation
Joseph P. Campanelli 1975 CEO of Sovereign Bank New England
Gustavo Cisneros 1963 CEO of Cisneros Group Venezuela and one of the wealthiest citizens of South and Middle America
The Hon. George B. Daniels 1971 United States federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Vinny Del Negro 1984 Former NBA player for the San Antonio Spurs, the head coach of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers.[14]
Roger C. Faxon 1967 CEO of EMI Music Publishing
Harold Geneen 1926 Business management pioneer and former president and CEO of International Telephone and Telegraph
Mark J. Hosenball 1969 Award-Winning Investigative Correspondent for Newsweek
Archer H. Mayor 1969 Vermont-based author of a critically acclaimed series of mystery novels featuring policeman Joe Gunther
James C. Morin 1971 Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for the Miami Herald
Gerald L. Parsky 1960 Chairman of Aurora Capital Partners L.P., a Los Angeles–based investment firm, and of the Board of Regents at the University of California
Leigh H. (Perk) Perkins, Jr. 1971 President and CEO of The Orvis Company
Leopoldo Fernández Pujals 1964 Entrepreneur, founder of Telepizza, and president of Jazztel
Charles S. Prouty 1963 Executive assistant director of Law Enforcement Services for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and former special agent in charge of the Boston Division of the FBI
James S. Tisch 1971 President and chief executive officer of Loews Corporation and CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas, Grace Powers (1898). Where to educate, 1898-1899. A guide to the best private schools, higher institutions of learning, etc., in the United States. Boston: Brown and Company. p. 38. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Athletics". Suffield Academy. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Water Polo- Boys Varsity". Suffield Academy. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Swimming and Diving Girls Varsity". Suffield Academy. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Swimming and Diving - Girls Varsity". Suffield Academy. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Wrestling - Varsity". Suffield Academy. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Riflery - Varsity". Suffield Academy. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Football - Varsity". Suffield Academy. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Baseball - Varsity". Suffield Academy. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Track and Field - Boys Varsity". Suffield Academy. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Arts and Culture". Suffield Academy. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Suffield Academy Arts Magazine 2011". 2010-2011 Arts Review. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Performing Arts". Suffield Academy. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Clippers to hire Del Negro". Yahoo!. 2010-07-06. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°59′05″N 72°39′01″W / 41.9848°N 72.6503°W / 41.9848; -72.6503