Cushing Academy

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Cushing Academy
Cushing Academy 1908.jpg
Cushing Academy and Science Building
c. 1908
Ashburnham, Massachusetts
United States
Coordinates 42°38′0″N 71°54′48″W / 42.63333°N 71.91333°W / 42.63333; -71.91333Coordinates: 42°38′0″N 71°54′48″W / 42.63333°N 71.91333°W / 42.63333; -71.91333
Type Private, college-prep, day and boarding
Motto Virtute et numine
Established 1865
Founder Thomas Parkman Cushing
CEEB code 220050
Co-Heads of School Margaret Lee, Catherine Pollock
Gender Co-educational
Enrollment 400
Average class size 12
Student to teacher ratio 6:1
Campus 162 acres (0.66 km2)
Color(s) Purple and white         
Athletics conference NEPSAC
Mascot Penguin
Accreditation NEASC
Tuition $59,750 (boarding); $41,300 (day)

Cushing Academy, in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, United States, is a private, coeducational college-preparatory school (grades 9–12 and a postgraduate year) for boarding and day students. It was founded in 1865 by Thomas Parkman Cushing, who was a successful Boston merchant. It was among the first coeducational boarding schools on the East Coast. Total enrollment today is about 400 students.


Upon his death in 1854, Thomas Parkman Cushing bequeathed money to establish Cushing Academy.[1] Following a provision from his will, the money accumulated for ten years before a board of trustees applied for an act of incorporation. On May 15, 1865, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts granted a charter, and the Academy opened in 1875 on land formerly known as Bancroft Farm.[2][3]

Cushing is located on a 162 acre campus that overlooks the town center of Ashburnham, which lies about 62 miles from Boston. The campus occupies hills that command a wide view of Mount Wachusett to the south and Mount Monadnock to the north.[4][5] The academic buildings include the Main Building (completed in 1875, and following a fire, a new building was dedicated in 1894), the Joseph R. Curry Academic Center, the English Building, and the Emily Fisher Landau Center for Visual Arts. Ashburnham House and Alumni Hall are the largest student dormitories. Sports facilities include the Watkins Field House, Heslin Gym, Theodore Iorio Arena, and several athletic fields and tennis courts.

Cushing enrolls students from 26 states and 28 countries. Cushing began accepting international students in 1889, and currently about 45 percent of the student body is international. [6][7] The faculty-student ratio is 1:6 and 68 percent of faculty hold advanced degrees.

In 2009, Cushing made headlines for its plans to spend $500,000 transforming the Fisher-Watkins Library into a learning center with e-readers, flat-screen televisions, laptop-friendly study carrels, and a coffee shop.[8][9][10] In an Update to Parents dated September 10, 2009, the headmaster stated that most the library's printed books would be replaced over a two-year period with e-books, but reassured that "books, in all formats, will continue to abound at Cushing."[11][12]

Notable alumni[edit]



  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Cushing, Thomas Parkman". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton. 
  2. ^ Hill, Heather (Spring 2016). "Cushing: Yesterday and Today". Cushing Academy. Archived from the original on June 4, 2017. Retrieved June 3, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Cushing History". Cushing Academy. Archived from the original on June 6, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  4. ^ Grace Powers Thomas, Where to Educate, 1898-1899: A Guide to the Best Private Schools, Higher Institutions of Learning, etc., in the United States, Boston: Brown, 1898, p. 122.
  5. ^ Knudson (Thomas), Grace, ed. (1898). Where to Educate, 1898-1899: A Guide to the Best Private Schools, Higher Institutions of Learning, etc. in the United States. Where to Educate. Boston, Brown and Co. p. 122. LCCN 99000422 – via Google Books. 
  6. ^ Brooks, Andree (November 22, 1981). "Preppies from Abroad". The New York Times Magazine. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 1, 2017. 
  7. ^ "2016-2017 Profile" (PDF). Cushing Academy. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 1, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  8. ^ Antolini, Tina (November 9, 2009). "Digital School Library Leaves Book Stacks Behind". National Public Radio (Transcript). Archived from the original on June 6, 2017. Retrieved April 1, 2017. 
  9. ^ Abel, David; Girard, Chris (2009). "Cushing Academy library goes bookless". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2017. 
  10. ^ Tracy, James; et al. (February 10, 2010). "Do School Libraries Need Books?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 6, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2017. 
  11. ^ Tracy, James (September 10, 2009). "Library update from Headmaster Tracy". Cushing Academy. Archived from the original on January 12, 2010. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Can e-books and print peacefully coexist?" (PDF). American School Board Journal. National School Boards Association: 26. January 2010. 

External links[edit]