Cushing Academy

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Cushing Academy
Cushing Academy 1908.jpg
Cushing Academy and Science Building
ca. 1908
Ashburnham, MA
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, boarding
Established 1865
Headmaster Christopher Torino
Gender Co-educational
Enrollment 400
Student to teacher ratio 8:1
Campus 162 acres (0.66 km2)
Color(s) Purple and White         
Athletics conference NEPSAC
Mascot Penguin

Cushing Academy is a coeducational college preparatory boarding school for grades 9 through 12 plus an optional postgraduate year located in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1865 in fulfilment of a bequest by Thomas Parkman Cushing[note 1] and opened in 1875,[1] and is sometimes cited as the oldest coeducational boarding school in the United States[citation needed]. Christopher Torino has been headmaster since July 2013.

Cushing Academy has approximately 400 students, from 26 states and 28 countries. 85% board on campus. The faculty-student ratio is 1:8 and 68% of faculty hold advanced degrees.[2]

Cushing Academy's campus overlooks the town center of Ashburnham. Cushing's academic structures include the historic Main Building, dedicated in January 1894 a year after its predecessor was destroyed by fire,[3] 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 Heslin Gym, Theodore Iorio Arena, and several athletic fields.

In 2009, Cushing Academy announced plans to spend $500,000 transforming its library into a "learning center" featuring a number of and Sony electronic readers, three large flat-screen TVs to project Internet pages, special laptop-friendly study carrels, and a coffee shop where the reference desk was.[4] In an Update to Parents dated September 10, 2009, the headmaster states that the library's printed books will be replaced over a two-year period, that faculty had first claim on those removed from the library, and that "books, in all formats, will continue to abound at Cushing."[5][6]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas Parkman Cushing (born in Ashburnham in 1787; died in Boston, 23 November 1854) was a Boston merchant, and bequeathed the bulk of his fortune, supposed to amount to $150,000, for the maintenance of two schools in Ashburnham. Source: Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Cushing, Thomas Parkman". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton. 


  1. ^ History of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Embracing a Comprehensive History of the County, from its First Settlement to the Present Time, with a History and Description of its Cities and Towns, 2 vols., vol. 1 Boston: Jewett, 1879, Abijah P. Marvin, "History of Worcester County," pp. 130-31.
  2. ^ Boarding School Review, retrieved February 5, 2013.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Abel, David (2009), "Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books. Cushing Academy embraces a digital future." The Boston Globe, September 4, 2009. The Boston Globe published a disapproving editorial on September 7, 2009: "Overeager futurism at Cushing".
  5. ^ Library update from Headmaster Tracy, Cushing Academy, September 10, 2009, archived at the Wayback Machine January 12, 2010.
  6. ^ Cushing's experiment, the headmaster's explanation, and the disapproving publicity are also mentioned in Lawrence Hardy, "The Future of Libraries," American School Board Journal, January 2010.
  7. ^ "Three New Interstate Commissioners", President Woodrow Wilson appointed him United States Attorney for Massachusetts and he served in that position from 1914 to 1917, followed by one year as a member of the Interstate Commerce Commission. In 1916, he worked to win Senate approval of Louis Brandeis when he was nominated to the Supreme Court, serving as counsel to the subcommittee that considered the nomination and conducting some of the crucial cross examination of witnesses.[1]Railway Age Gazette 63.14 (1913) p. 598.
  8. ^ Who is Nate Berkus? Your Life, The Boston Globe March 23, 2006.

External links[edit]