NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 2, 2013

A bang-up 250th

Academy revisits Revolutionary roots for Founder's Day

BYFIELD — Students, faculty, alumni, parents and friends of The Governor’s Academy got a startling wake-up call, literally, yesterday at 8:11 a.m. when a detachment of Colonial reenacters let loose with a noisy three-salvo musket barrage to mark the beginning of Founder’s Day.

The Governor’s Academy is celebrating its 250th anniversary this weekend and for an institution that is considered the oldest boarding school in the country, nothing but a throwback to its 18th century beginnings would seem appropriate for the start of the festivities.

“The story of the academy’s beginnings is also a story of public education in Massachusetts,” Headmaster Peter Quimby said in his opening remarks before more than 500.

Quimby said there were only about 18 public schools in Massachusetts in 1763 when the academy started.

“Our school went through an era of difficult times (including the Revolutionary War), but prevailed to provide valuable educational opportunities that today prepare students for their college years and in their lives thereafter,” he said.

The colorful historical presentation in front of the historic Little Red Schoolhouse in which the academy got its start kicked off a full program of student-focused events, including historical discussions, alumni retrospectives, exhibits and a post-dinner concert that featured several graduates

Numerous references were made to the school’s relationship with the town of Newbury. As part of this recognition, welcoming remarks were made by Joe Story, a member of the class of 1967 who now serves as chairman of the Newbury Board of Selectmen.

“Things have changed greatly over the years, but the school remains an important resource for students and for the community,” Story said.

Many secondary schools take pride in their pasts, but few can point to the heritage that the academy can.

On March 1, 1763, at the bequest of Gov. William Dummer, the Dummer Charity School opened to educate young men in the Byfield area. Its first class numbered 28 local boys. Today, student enrollment stands at 405, school officials say.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape
Special Features