Friday, April 19, 2013
Our spring term is unfolding and we are immersed in a very exciting time of year at Suffield.
We are looking forward to the upcoming Parents' Weekend and all of the activity it will bring to campus. In addition to welcoming Suffield families, we are also hosting a gathering next Friday for placement directors from more than 40 junior boarding and day schools in New England and New York. The site for this event annually rotates among five Hartford-area secondary schools. The placement directors will learn more about our school and also focus on current trends in the secondary school admission process including increased use of a common application. I wanted to mention that the large number of people on campus will therefore lead to some academic classes meeting in non-traditional settings. In short, this is a result of a great opportunity to gain increased exposure for Suffield.
We recently completed revisits for newly accepted students (and their parents). Our current students and faculty did a terrific job of welcoming all guests to campus, and the revisit program remains a great strength in our recruitment efforts. I will report more news about the incoming class of students in my next letter, but we have reached our enrollment goals and will welcome a talented group of new students next fall.
Our Class of 2013 had outstanding results in the college admissions process. Collectively, they were accepted to more than 200 colleges and universities. Many are making final decisions about where they will attend as the May 1 deadline approaches, and we will have a very impressive list that reflects the significant talents of these students. When the decisions are final we look forward to sharing this information with the entire Suffield community. I want to also mention that as part of our new four-year college counseling initiative, the freshman class will tour Yale University next week to see college life in action.
The spring play, "August: Osage County," began last night in the Jeanice Seaverns Performing Arts Center. Set in Oklahoma, the play examines the intricacies and challenges of family life. Director Tom Dugan and Assistant Director Jay O'Brien '13 have done wonderful work leading the thirteen member cast. This play has presented a challenging task for our students and we are very proud of the strong performance. I also want to thank Trustee Pat Moore P'09, '14, her husband Walter, and five other Suffield families for helping lead fundraising for upgrades to the performing arts center. The overarching goal was to enhance the acoustics of the space, and this was effectively achieved through the addition of acoustical sound panels, carpet, and a new seating arrangements that includes risers. The improvements make for a better experience in the theater for both performers and spectators.
On Monday we will celebrate Earth Day with a series of activities on and off campus, and the next chapel meeting (on May 6) will be our annual Alumni Leadership Day. This program was created by Suffield's Alumni Association to honor graduates who have displayed notable leadership in their professional careers or in a humanitarian endeavor. The selection committee is comprised of alumni, students, and faculty members, and this year they chose four recipients. Tor Peterson '82 is a leading commodities trader at Glencore, Gretchen Schwabe Wilcox ’77 runs a commercial real estate mortgage banking business, Paul Sullivan '58 is a retired endocrinologist, art collector, and philanthropist, and Dr. Rick Wahle '73 is a marine biologist and professor at University of Maine.
We have a series of terrific projects unfolding from students in our sophomore and junior leadership courses. There are off-campus volunteer efforts with our local elementary school, the Forest Park Zoo in Springfield, the Ronald McDonald House, Head Start, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, the Suffield town library, and the American Cancer Society, as well as on-campus initiatives including the installation of solar panels at the SOLO Barn, and restoration of our community garden, frisbee golf course, greenhouse, and a campus pond. Next week all twelfth graders will begin a three-part senior seminar with presentations on volunteer opportunities, financial management, and lessons learned by a Suffield alum (Peter Billings '01).
As we look to next Friday's Parents' Association auction, I want to again thank the many parents who have already supported the event through their time, auction items, and financial gifts for our Fund-A-Need Project. Proceeds from this year's event and Fund-A-Need are being directed to continued projects outlined in our campus master plan, including the conversion of Stiles Lane into a central campus walkway and an expansion and renovation of Brewster Hall. The car raffle tickets sold out and early next week you will receive the catalog of auction items. If you cannot attend the event, you can bid online until Thursday at noon on the auction website (www.suffieldacademy.org/auction
). Others who cannot be here have generously sent gifts. Finally, tickets are still available and if you would like to join us please contact Penn Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org
The winter edition of SUFFIELD magazine will soon be sent to the Suffield Academy community. It features pieces about several alumni, students, and faculty, and an update on master plan projects. The positive momentum of the school is evident in all areas of community life—from admissions to college placement to the atmosphere on campus. Thank you for your enthusiastic partnership in all we are doing at Suffield.