Monday, April 21, 2014
We have reached the middle of our spring term and are looking forward to seeing many of you on campus this weekend. I wanted to send news about various events and a recent gift to the school.
First, I am pleased to notify you about admissions results for the 2014-2015 academic year. We had our largest-ever first round applicant pool this year with nearly nine candidates for each available space. More than two-thirds of the families that revisited in April chose to join us next year. The group will include around 80 freshmen, 35 new sophomores, and 6 to 8 new students in grades eleven and twelve. Our students and faculty did a wonderful job welcoming these families to Suffield and clearly communicating the special attributes of our school.
Many of our seniors are making final decisions about where they will attend college as the May 1 deadline approaches. Collectively, they sent more than 1,000 applications to over 300 schools. The list of destinations will reflect the talents and diversity of this year's 120 seniors.
Construction is fully underway on the expansion and renovation of Brewster Hall. This ambitious project will increase Brewster from 27,000 to 40,000 square feet and house our dining facilities and student center. Stiles Lane will become a beautiful, tree-lined walkway with interspersed sitting areas. We will share renderings and an update about the project at Friday evening's Parents' Association Auction.
Students in our sophomore leadership courses are immersed in off-campus service projects. These include volunteer efforts in local elementary schools, and with homeless support organizations, Loaves and Fishes, and an animal rescue shelter. All members of our senior class are beginning a three-part senior leadership seminar with presentations on volunteer opportunities, financial management, and the importance of relationships.
Three performances of “The Crucible” took place in the Jeanice Seaverns Performing Arts Center last week. It was a successful production that involved more than forty students and faculty members in telling the dramatic story of the Salem witchcraft trials.
Another tribute to the arts at Suffield is a recent gift from Brad Gooch, a legendary faculty member for 36 years (from 1960 to 1996). Brad taught English and art history, and advised several choral groups. He was also a very successful soccer coach and the girls' varsity soccer field is named in Brad's honor.
Brad's donation provides a full merit-based scholarship for a rising Suffield senior displaying exceptional promise and deep passion for visual arts, performing arts, creative writing, and art history. It is intended to be awarded only in years when wonderful talent warrants this prestigious scholarship. As Brad said, “It is not a 'best-of-the-year' award but a scholarship for a student whose ability and passion just knocks your socks off, who, by the power of her or his body of work, has an impact on the school as a whole; whose work gives off that special thrill of wonder and delight.” The winter/spring edition of SUFFIELD magazine will soon be sent to the Suffield Academy community, and it features an interview with Brad about this remarkable contribution.
As we look to Friday's 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 are being directed to two projects: (1) the conversion of Stiles Lane into the central campus walkway noted above, and (2) a significant wireless Internet initiative aimed at providing high quality access on all parts of campus.
If you cannot attend the event you can bid online until Wednesday at midnight on the auction website auction.suffieldacademy.org
. 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 (email@example.com
The positive momentum of the school is evident in all areas of community life. Thank you for your enthusiastic partnership in all we are doing at Suffield.