Bridgton Academy's Seal
|North Bridgton, Maine 04057
|Motto||The Year That Makes The Difference|
|Headmaster||Graydon E. Vigneau, Jr.|
|• Grade 12||5-10|
|• Grade 13||165-175|
|Average class size||9:1|
|Color(s)||Black and grey|
|Sports||Football, soccer, golf, basketball, hockey, skiing, baseball, lacrosse, tennis, rugby|
|Publication||BA Today (Biannual)|
Bridgton Academy is an all-male college preparatory in North Bridgton, Maine. The school offers a true transitional year, to help students who have completed their senior year of high school gain the academic skills, study skills, self-discipline, and self-confidence necessary to succeed in college. Founded in 1808, the school sits at the northern tip of Long Lake in North Bridgton, Maine. The school has been NEASC accredited since 1934, making it one of the oldest accredited schools in the country. The school is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.
The 55-acre (22 ha) campus hosts twenty four different buildings. The majority of classes are held in the newly constructed state of the art Humanities Center. There are eight dormitories on campus with the capacity to hold 6-40 students. The school's mission "is to provide a program for young men in a unique, one-year postgraduate environment to prepare for the rigors of college and beyond." In recent history, the school has expanded its number of two-year students, allowing for students to complete their high school diploma at Bridgton, as well as spending their second, prep, year at the Academy.
Originally chartered when Maine was part of Massachusetts, Bridgton Academy submitted the articles of its incorporation by taking a horse and buggy all the way to Boston in 1806, and welcomed its first class in 1808. What was originally a 4-year, co-ed institution morphed into a boys-only school, and then finally a one-year preparatory school in the 1960s.
From "A Brief History of Bridgton Academy" by Ernest N. Stevens (Class of 1899): "Bridgton was incorporated in 1794. It was still a small settlement. In 1800 it had only 646 inhabitants....The settlers in this whole region were chiefly from Massachusetts towns to the north of Boston, such as Andover, Boxford, Rowley and Newbury. They were largely of Puritan stock, of fair education themselves, and genuinely concerned about the education of their children. Within forty years from the original survey of the town and within twelve years of its incorporation they were talking of opening a secondary school. But the way was not easy. Massachusetts, within whose jurisdiction they then lived, would authorize no fly-by-night academies."
So in 1806 three Bridgton citizens - Samuel Adams, Dr. Samuel Farnsworth and Enoch Perley - set about to raise the funds necessary to incorporate an Academy. The only question after their successful fundraising was where the school was to be located. At a stormy session held by the townsfolk and presided over by three trustees from neighboring academies, it was determined that the school would be located in North Bridgton because "...the natural beauty of the scenery was so great that it seemed that nature itself had designed that there should be a school in North Bridgton."
Beginning in 2013 the Bridgton Academy campus has undergone an extensive refurbishing, with major gardening and planting projects appearing throughout the campus, as well as new stonework, wrought iron gates, and paint and siding upgrades to every campus building.
- Simon M. Hamlin, politician
- Andrew Haldane, military personnel
- Thomas Treadwell Stone, Unitarian pastor and abolitionist
- Dan Egan ’83 – Famous extreme skier featured in a variety of Warren Miller films.
- Carlos Canino '84 - United States Government Agent. Among most highly decorated undercover agents in recent history
- Shane McMahon '89 - businessman who currently serves as the chairman and Executive Officer of YOU On Demand. Son of Vince McMahon. The former Executive Vice President of Global Media (as well as an occasional professional wrestler and referee) for the McMahon family-owned World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
- Jermaine Wiggins ’94 – NFL tight end. Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots (Super Bowl XXXVI). Graduate of the University of Georgia.
- Clarence Black '95, media personality
- Steven Brooks ’03 – Syracuse Lacrosse two-time national championship player. Two time All American. Division I midfielder of the year. Alumnus of the NLL. Two-time MLL Cup winner. Member of the US Men’s National Team.
- Robert Vaden '04, professional basketball player
- Courtney Greene '05, American football defensive back
- Victor Cruz '05, American football wide receiver
- Eric Olin, Professional poker player and explosives expert
The campus is set up on a hillside at the northern tip of Long Lake, and contains two academic buildings, seven dormitories, a dining hall, ice rink, gymnasium and locker rooms, and a multi-field turf athletic complex. There are also several Administrative buildings (including the Academy Building, built in 1830 and still standing today), the Twitchell Memorial Chapel and the Wolverine Den (student center; actually the renovated North Bridgton Church). The residence halls are: Cleaves Hall, Massachusetts Hall, Jillson Hall, Walker Hall, Sylvester Hall, Holt Hall and Potter House. Each dormitory houses between 11 and 38 students and vary in age from Massachusetts Hall (built ca. 1850) and sister dormitories Walker and Jillson (completed in 1987).
The campus recently underwent a major renovation at the top of Chadbourne Hill, replacing the existing Ellis-Fisher multi-use athletic field and baseball field with a completely new synthetic turf surface in the summer of 2015. The baseball field was also relocated to better account for sunlight and prevailing winds, and the Ham practice field was extended to a full 100 yards.