Traditions

Unwavering traditions include Saturday morning classes, a dress code, small class sizes, required evening study hall for boarders and afternoon activities for all students, weekly school meetings, and sit-down lunches. These time-honored traditions appeal to families and are hallmarks of the Suffield Academy experience.


Suffield is a school rich in tradition. Whether it is an athletic team ringing the Bell to celebrate a win, formal sit-down lunch or holiday dinner, chapel program or Kent-Davis Oratory Competition, or not stepping on the official school seal, Suffield promotes strong ties to its past. Since 1833, the school has honored these longtime traditions with one overarching and simple philosophy: Surround yourself with people who support your growth.

Sometimes you might fall, but if you tried your best you will definitely see positive changes in your life. I think that is what makes our Suffield community close and stronger—making positive changes not only within yourself but also for others.   -Jason Choi ’19 | Seoul, Korea

I have so many great memories: winter carnival, math with Mr. Samii, Gordy Glover’s passion for literature and track, swimming for Andy Lowe, Latin with Mr. Nelson, and I still remember Head of School Ken Lindfors graduation speech. Suffield taught me to work hard and expect success as a result. Faculty and coaches asked me to show up daily, give my best effort, and keep moving forward. These lessons still motivate me today. The rigor of daily life combined with a willingness to meet students where they are combines to create an atmosphere where students can learn and grow. The changes to campus have made it more compact and, in some ways, Suffield is a very different school than the one I attended, but in more important ways the school is still very much the same.   -Daniel Mastella ’87, P’19, ’21

Ringing the Bell

Sam Ferraro  | My most memorable experience at Suffield would have to be going over to the bell and ringing it one last time at 9:00p.m. with all of the seniors last year after winning our second championship in track. 

Sledding

Throughout Suffield Academy's 188 year history Bell Hill has been home to epic sledding adventures. Students would grab a tray from the dining hall and speed down Bell Hill under the cloak of darkness. Of they would have nothing more than a pair of snow pants as they slid down on their way to practice. Not only is sledding down Bell Hill one of Suffield's great traditions, it's a perfect way to let off some steam in the dark winter months.

Community Charity Telethon

Streamed live on the school’s website, the telethon was the second fundraising event.

Featuring acts such as music, dance, theater, poetry, science experiments, and magic,

the telethon celebrated the many talents of Suffield’s student body while raising money

toward a rewarding cause. “The telethon was successful because of the effort and

commitment of our students, faculty, and staff,” noted Dean of Students Greg Lynch.

“The event symbolizes what a special place Suffield is, full of remarkable people who

want to make a positive impact.”

Part of welcoming students to campus at Suffield Academy is our annual tradition of Tiger Games.

Students team up by class year and compete in a series of events including a hula hoop contest, ultimate Frisbee, capture the flag, kick ball, and tug of war. The games are followed by a community cookout on the terrace outside of the Landis Student Union. 

Marina Ghazarian ’20 said, “Tiger Games get everyone involved early with school life and are a great way for us to begin our journey of the new year.” Tyler Van Dyke ’20 shared similar thoughts, saying, “It’s a nice way for new students to begin their Suffield experience and feel our school’s spirit and pride.” 

Chris Hostetter ’21 echoed this theme by noting, “Tiger Games help new students indulge into their Suffield Academy experiences,” while Natassa Flevotomos ’20 commented that “there’s a good balance of spirit, competition, and fun.” 

As these comments indicate, Tiger Games help welcome new students to campus and emphasize the warmth and positive spirit that rest at the heart of the Suffield experience. 

It’s the many unsung heroes who don’t get recognition but who make our lives easier. People like Mary in the snack bar, Vic in the field house, Manny who makes us pizza, and many more. I’ve come to realize their individual but collective efforts go largely uncelebrated yet they are the reason why this place is so special.Chris Burke ’19

Research shows that adolescents who regularly participate in family style meals are emotionally stronger, and have better mental health than their peers. According to a study conducted by Ohio State, “regular meals cement relationships and lead to social connectedness.” At Suffield Academy, we have been putting family style meals in to practice long before the research told us it was beneficial. Sit-down lunch is a tradition at Suffield Academy. We know that it makes our community stronger. Students are randomly assigned tables each week and this puts them together with faculty members and peers with whom they otherwise may not have had the opportunity to interact. Eating together is part of what makes our community so strong at Suffield Academy. Not only is it good for developing a sense of belonging and improved mental health, it benefits our physical health as well. A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that, across the lifespan, eating family-style meals is associated with having a healthier diet.