On The Hilltop TWO HUNDRED YEARS AT KIMBALL UNION ACADEMY
On The Hilltop Two Hundred Years at Kimball Union Academy
Front cover: Kimball Union Academy, October 1990. Commissioned by the board of trustees from Tim Engelland as a gift to Headmaster Thomas and Elva Mikula upon their retirement. It now hangs in Head of School Michael J. Schafer’s office in Baxter Hall.
Nomad Press A division of Nomad Communications 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Copyright © 2012 by Kimball Union Academy All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review. The trademark “Nomad Press” and the Nomad Press logo are trademarks of Nomad Communications, Inc. Printed and bound in China? Kimball Union Academy Meriden, NH 03770–0188 603-469-2000 www.kua.org
Acknowledgments This book could not have been completed without the assistance or contributions of many people, both present and past, all of whom have been touched by Kimball Union Academy at some time in their lives. Many of the wonderful photographs were chosen from a large collection that we are fortunate to have in the Kimball Union Archives. Others were generously provided by Dartmouth College, Rauner Library Archives Collection, Hanover, New Hampshire; Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois; and Plainfield Historical Society Collection, Plainfield, New Hampshire. The more recent photographs were taken by parents, faculty, and professional photographers, including Rob Bossi; Jane Carver Fielder P’90, 91; Jon Gilbert Fox; Roy Knight P’10; Elizabeth Knox H’03, P’96; Kit Creeger P’09; C. Parker Jones ’37, P’61; Mark Washburn; Eileen Williams, P’14, ’15; Vaughn Winchell; and many others whose photos grace these pages. I am indebted to the following people for answering my many historical questions or for literary contributions given to the Academy archives collection over the last 200 years. • Stephen Bishop, faculty and assistant headmaster 1963–2000, H’00, P’85, ’86, ’89, ’91 • Julia Brennan, Director of Communications 2003–present • Polly Davie, faculty 1977–1991, “History of Women at KUA” Isaac Dayno ’11, Independent Study 2010–2011, “History of Kimball Union Academy” • Jessie Carver English, faculty 1936–1969, P’56, ’57, ’61
• Elizabeth Knox, faculty 1989–2003, H’03, P’96 • Marianna McKim, faculty 2008–present • Allan Munro ’55, P’81, ’83, ’11, ’13, Trustee Emeritus • Nancy Norwalk, Alumni Relations Assistant 1986–present • Cyrus Smith Richards, class of 1831, principal 1835–1871 • Ernest Sherman, faculty 1937–1941, and 1945–1950 • Charles Alden Tracy, class of 1893, headmaster 1905–1935 • Howard Zea, Buildings and Grounds 1947–1980 Innumerable sources from the archives provided fascinating detail, including, Choice White Pines and Good Land; A History of Plainfield and Meriden, New Hampshire; and Kimball Union magazines, yearbooks, student newspapers, school directories, catalogues, and all other publications and memorabilia including personal letters, diaries, and memoirs. A special thanks to Susan and Alex Kahan P’09 of Nomad Press for their talent, generosity, and dedication to Kimball Union. Finally, my profound appreciation goes to the people who lovingly looked after the archives collection over the years: Ernest Sherman, Joan Bishop, Katharine Feichtinger, and Jody Stone. I would like to especially thank Patricia Erikson, who had the opportunity, with the help of Henry Colburn ’01, to sort, catalogue, index, and box the entire KUA archives collection, making it a much easier task to collect and write the history of Kimball Union Academy. ― J. C. F.
Contents chapter 1
1813–1835, Kimball Union Academy
1900–1905, A New Century
1969–1974, Changing Times
1835–1871, Expansion and Prosperity
1905–1935, Centenary and World War
1974–1989, Return to Coeducation
1871–1890, Postwar Struggle
1935–1952, A Boys’ School
1989–2003, Age of Arts and Technology
1952–1969, The Miller Bequest
2003–present, A New Millennium
THE KIMBALL UNION ALMA MATER
Come you friends of Kimball Union, now our song we raise For our school upon The Hilltop sing a song of praise. Kimball Union, Alma Mater hear us as we sing Words of love and fond devotion, which to thee we bring.
Here we forge the bonds of friendship deep within our hearts And those ties that we have formed here, may they ne’er depart. Kimball Union, Alma Mater hear us as we sing Words of love and fond devotion, which to thee we bring.
May the name of Kimball Union where so e’r we be Always bring us back in fancy, dearest School to thee. Kimball Union, Alma Mater hear us as we sing Words of love and fond devotion, which to thee we bring. —Text by Floyd E. Jarvis, faculty 1932–1945
Detail from Dr. Frostâ€™s map of Meriden as he found in it 1808, drawn from memory in 1852.
Daniel Kimball’s house.
Kimball Union Academy This Academy was founded here on The Hilltop in Meriden because of the long-held dream of Daniel and Hannah Kimball to have a school in their village in Meriden. Daniel Kimball was born on May 20, 1753, in Preston, Connecticut. In 1769, at the age of 16, he came with his family to begin a new life in Plainfield, New Hampshire. The Kimball family possessed the same pioneering spirit as their forefathers who had joined many earlier generations seeking a better life in the New World.
Kimball’s paternal great, great, great grandparents, Richard Kimball and Ursula Scott Kimball, left Ipswich, England, on April 10, 1634. Their son Henry joined them on the ship Elizabeth sailing for America. This branch of the Kimball family prospered in New England.
Union Academy is incorporated on June 16.
Daniel Kimball’s father, Benjamin Kimball, bought 750 acres of land in Meriden village, purchased from the original Plainfield proprietors who had received land grants from Governor Wentworth for the town of Plainfield in 1761. He put up a timber house in the vicinity of the gristmill he had built on the falls just below the current Meriden Covered Bridge. Tombstones of Daniel Kimball’s parents, Benjamin and Hannah, in Mill Cemetery. Hannah was the first person buried there in 1783.
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Joseph Kimball, Daniel Kimball’s uncle.
Meriden Covered Bridge, circa 1885, with the sawmill on the left and gristmill on the right.
The First Academy building is dedicated on January 9, and instruction begins the next day.
A sketch of the First Academy building, drawn in the twentieth century.
Daniel Kimball dies on February 17.
The original wooden Academy building built by Daniel Kimball burns to the ground.
I order will and ordain and do hereby give and bequeath the whole of the residue of my estate both Real and personal where ever it may be found to gather with my Wife’s dower in my real Estate after her decease to the Trustees of Union Academy as a permanent fund.
Hannah Kimball, Daniel Kimball’s wife and founder in 1839 of the Female Department at Kimball Union Academy.
Hannah Kimball ‘was a superior woman and a fine mind . . . and a very pious woman. Both her husband and herself had a higher object in view to make Meriden a place for an Academy.’ —journal of Dr. Elias Frost
1825 The Second Academy is completed on the site where the first building stood.
1835 Israel Newell, the third principal of KUA, retires. He elevated KUA to a respected position among New England schools.
—Daniel Kimball in his last will and testament Kimball Union Academy 1813–1835 | 2
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This 1875 photo of the Kimball house, Bryant Block, and the Congregational Church provides a view of The Hilltop as it might have looked in Daniel Kimball’s lifetime.
One of 14 founding members of the Congregational Church, Benjamin was active in town affairs. He gave one and one-half acres of land approximately on the site of the present stone church for the construction of a wood-framed church. Following a long and prosperous life, Benjamin was killed in 1796 when he fell off the dam at his mill. He was buried in Mill Cemetery alongside his wife Hannah, who had died in 1783. It would seem that the older Kimball’s success in business and farming, combined with devout religious beliefs, generosity of spirit, and service to the community, was inherited by Daniel Kimball. His father left him the gristmill and a large estate that he added to over time. Daniel built his house, now the central part of the Parish House for the Congregational Church, on the Meriden
Green near the meetinghouse. He owned a general store next to his house where he was in partnership with John Bryant of Cornish, New Hampshire, a nephew of his wife Hannah. They traded goods as far away as Boston, bringing local produce to the city and returning with supplies needed by the local residents, as well as luxury goods. After serving in the Revolutionary War, Kimball married Hannah Chase of Cornish, New Hampshire, on December 4, 1777. The Chases had been early pioneers of Cornish, and were a prominent family there. Hannah was a second cousin of Salmon Portland Chase, who would become United States Secretary of the Treasury and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Chase is characterized in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, Team of Rivals, as one of Lincoln’s three rivals in the election of 1850.
Kimball Family Portraits Dr. Frost described how Joseph Kimball finally allowed his portrait to be painted, taken after he, Dr. Frost, offered to pay for it. He offered the same to Joseph’s nephew Daniel at a cost of $140 and as a gift to be left to the Academy. “It was of no use; He liked money better than the fine arts. Brought up in old fashioned times, he considered that taking of Portraits was a small business and not of any importance; so I found it among all the hardy first settlers of the town, with but very few exceptions.”
Daniel Kimball was known to have strong opinions and didn’t care to have people disagree with him. Dr. Elias Frost, who practiced medicine in Meriden beginning in 1808, wrote of Daniel in his journal that, “what he thought was right everyone must conform to it. He knew his wealth and managed it by encouraging young persons in setting out in life . . .” Dr. Frost eventually married a granddaughter of Daniel’s uncle, Joseph Kimball. The Frosts bought Reverend David Dickinson’s house on Main Street in Meriden, now owned by the Academy and known as Frost House.
Daniel’s cousin Robert, who was Joseph Kimball’s son.
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Goodwin wrote, “the neighboring folk used to say of the substantial Chase homestead that in that yellow house more brains were born than in any other house in New England.” Another cousin was a United States senator.
From drawings of his Uncle Joseph and his cousin Robert, we have an idea of Daniel’s appearance as a man with strong features. It was said that Kimball was, “a sixfoot man, very erect and fine looking: and is said to have resembled Henry Clay in features. He had a strong mind, quick in perception, and was able to express himself with ease and force; thoughtful and taciturn.”
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Union Academy Is Born David Sutherland, a Scottish preacher, came to America to, “preach in the highways and hedges” of the northern Connecticut River Valley. He appears to have had a great influence on Jon Foord of Piermont, New Hampshire, who, circa 1811, went to the north of England and Scotland to further his theological studies. While there, he learned of an institution “affording gratuitous instruction to candidates for the Christian ministry, in indigent circumstances with a lower standard of previous schooling.” Jon Foord wrote to his father back in New Hampshire describing this school, and his father and his acquaintances became very interested in establishing their own seminary. A council formed from the leading churches of New England held a meeting in Windsor, Vermont, on October 21, 1812. Among the delegates were President Dwight of Yale College, professors from Andover Theological Seminary and Dartmouth College, and Daniel Kimball. In his short history of Kimball Union, Principal Cyrus S. Richards wrote, “Professor Dwight presented an elaborate argument, urging the great importance of a liberally educated ministry, for the present and future welfare of the churches and the country, and deprecating the establishment of schools with a partial and limited course of studies even for the purpose of multiplying ministers.
“These views were almost unanimously adopted by the council, but as a substitute for the proposed Theological Seminary, a constitution was adopted which is embraced essentially in the present charter of the institution; making the new Seminary an Academy, whose object should be, as set forth in the Charter:
‘To assist in the education of poor and pious young men for the gospel ministry; and also to make provision for the education of such others, as may be admitted by the trustees, upon terms subject to pay a reasonable sum for their tuition.’ “None could become beneficiaries under this arrangement, without the declared intention of pursuing the full course of college and theological studies. It was christened by this body with the name of Union Academy—it being the offspring of the united churches of New England. Its location was to be determined, other things being equal, by the highest offer of pecuniary benefactions. Woodstock, Vermont, and Orford, New Hampshire, made liberal offers, as did several other places.
The Second Academy, finished in 1825. There is no known original drawing of the First Academy building, which stood from 1815 to 1824.
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“Honorable Daniel Kimball of Meriden, New Hampshire, arose in the council and said that God had blessed him with a liberal fortune, but with no natural heir to inherit it. He recognized the providence of God in this movement, and was ready to pledge the institution six thousand dollars for immediate use, and the bulk of his property at his decease. This offer, by this bold man, determined its location in Meriden and its full name, Kimball Union Academy, after the decease of Mr. Kimball, in 1817.” And so it followed that Union Academy was incorporated on June 16, 1813. The first Academy building was constructed on The Hilltop in the vicinity of the present Baxter Hall, with much of the work done and expense paid by Daniel Kimball.
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In a letter in The Kimball Union in February 1903, Chester B. Jordan, class of 1866 and former Governor of New Hampshire, describes Kimball’s effort in the project, “My father was present when Hon. Daniel Kimball was building the first academy. He said the old gentleman was hauling stone with his old mare hitched to a stone-boat, and laying up the foundation with his own hands. He endowed it living and dying.” The building was dedicated on January 9, 1815, and instruction began the next day with seven pupils. The earliest school directory, 1815–1880, lists 10 male students and 3 female students enrolled in 1815. Six young men completed the course of study in 1816 along with four young women, although women were not recognized as graduates until 1848. While away on a trip Kimball became ill, probably with pneumonia. He sent for his wife and doctor to bring him home. They did, but he died shortly thereafter on February 17, 1817. He was greatly mourned by the people of Meriden, many of whom had been the beneficiaries of his generosity and advice. Daniel Kimball was laid to rest next to his father and mother in Mill Cemetery. In his last will and testament, Kimball left the residue of his estate, an estimated $34,000, to Union Academy, later named Kimball Union Academy in his honor. Believed to be the original document funding Union Academy. The first entry is for Daniel Kimball, who gave $6,000.
Kimball Union Academy and Dartmouth College The connection between Kimball Union Academy and Dartmouth College goes all the way back to Union Academy’s founding and earliest years. Many of Dartmouth’s trustees were also trustees at the Academy. When Dartmouth’s young trustees clashed with Dartmouth College President John Wheelock for control of the college, KUA lent the trustees money to hire Daniel Webster to take their case all the way to the US Supreme Court. Wheelock, who was the son of founder Eleazer Wheelock, had convinced the state legislature to amend Dartmouth’s charter and make it a public university. Webster won what became known as the “Dartmouth Case” in 1816–1817, which upheld the right of private institutions to conduct their affairs without interference from the state. Of the $1,400 lent to the college by the Academy, a large amount for a new school struggling for its own existence, records show that Dartmouth only repaid $200. Over the following decades, Kimball Union Academy and Dartmouth College continued to share many trustees and the Academy sent a great number of students to Dartmouth. Eight of KUA’s 18 principals and headmasters are graduates of Dartmouth College and two of Dartmouth’s presidents attended KUA.
The names of four young women who were in KUA’s first class.
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Daniel Kimball’s monument in Mill Cemetery, Meriden, New Hampshire, erected by the trustees of Kimball Union Academy in 1849.
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The first principal of Union Academy was Otis Hutchins, 1815– 1819, a Dartmouth College graduate of the class of 1804. He was, “A man of undoubted ability and superior scholarship; greatly respected by the citizens of Meriden, and beloved by all his pupils.” Hutchins had earlier been the principal of Chesterfield Academy from 1812 to 1814, his alma mater, and returned there to teach from 1820 to 1822. From then on he farmed in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, where he had been born in 1781. He died Otis Hutchins, Principal 1815‒1819. October 6, 1866.
appearance, a prudent manager, strict, and sometimes severe, in his discipline, he soon gave to the school a high and commanding position among the schools of New England . . . as a teacher, he had rare abilities in arousing and stimulating the mind, and enkindling an earnest and healthy ambition in his pupils.” Kimball Union Academy prospered during this time.
The second principal, John L. Parkhurst, 1819–1822, a graduate of Brown University, stayed for three years, his term “conducted amid great embarrassments, perhaps without fault of his. Much of his time there were no regular sessions of the school; only private recitations of a few scholars.” This was partly due to the fact that Daniel Kimball’s money was entangled with the accounts of his executor and former business partner, John Bryant, making it difficult for the trustees to bring his estate to a settlement. But, “by 1822, the estate was settled and about $32,000 immediately gave new life and promise to its future prospects.” Israel Newell, a graduate of Andover Theological Seminary and Bowdoin College, was the third principal, from 1822 to 1835. Principal Cyrus Richards, who followed Newell at KUA, called him, “. . . a remarkable man; dignified and prepossessing in personal 1828 Catalogue.
First Academy Building Burns In 1823, Israel Newell’s second year as principal, tragedy struck when the original wooden Academy building burned to the ground. The upstairs of the building had four rooms for boarders with two boys to a room. One stormy night, smoke blew down the poorly designed chimneys, filling the rooms with smoke. The boys went elsewhere to study, carefully covering the embers with ashes and removing wood and kindling from the hearth before leaving.
The Commencement Program, 1826. Asa Dodge Smith spoke, “On the influence of Sympathy between a preacher and his hearers, with the Valedictory Addressees.”
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Asa Dodge Smith, class of 1826. Smith graduated from Dartmouth College in 1830 and served as president there from 1863 to 1877.The fire that destroyed the First Academy building started in the room he shared with another student.
Courtesy of Dartmouth College Library
Although the rooms were checked during the evening, the building caught fire and was consumed in 15 minutes. Some reports of the fire state that the library and other equipment were saved and some state that all was lost. In any case, the First Academy building, constructed through the energies of Daniel Kimball, was gone. The boys in whose room the fire began were not considered responsible and they continued their studies. A new brick building, the Second Academy as it was known, was completed in 1825 on the same site.
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, gift of Cyrus S. Richards’ students. AS SUPPLIED BY THE MUSEUM
Expansion and Prosperity Cyrus Smith Richards was the fourth and longestserving principal in Kimball Union Academy’s history. His ancestors emmigrated from Wymouth, England, in 1633 and settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts. His grandparents bought and cleared land for a farm in Norwich, Vermont, in 1760. They were among the first settlers there. Richards was born in Hartford, Vermont, on March 11, 1808, the eighth of nine children.
Cyrus S. Richards, class of 1831, Principal 1835–1871.
“Cyrus grew up on the farm, a barefoot boy in homespun, but with a love of books and an eager desire to learn. . . . Little by little his hoard of savings grew until, in his 20th year he was able to enter Kimball Union, and, at long last, Dartmouth College.” In his senior year at Dartmouth, Richards assisted Principal Israel Newell, who was in failing health. “The young man showed such marked ability as a teacher that on the day he graduated from Dartmouth he was elected principal of the Academy. . . . He bought what is now called the Cann House, on the present location of Miller Bicentennial Hall, and brought to it the bride whose wit and charm were to make it a delightful center for many years.” Charles Ransom Miller, class of 1867. Through his children, he became KUA’s first million dollar benefactor.
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1835 Cyrus Smith Richards graduates from Dartmouth College and is elected principal of 100 students at Kimball Union.
Courtesy of Dartmouth College Library
William Jewett Tucker graduated from Kimball Union in 1857 and Dartmouth College in 1861. He was the ninth President of Dartmouth College, serving from 1893 to 1909, emeritus from 1909 to 1926.
Deacon Miller House, home of Principal Richards and his family, later known as Cann House, on the present site of Miller Bicentennial Hall.
Many KUA students and graduates serve in the Civil War.
Martha M. Green, first Principal of Female Department, 1840–1843.
Dr. Richards we feared not a little, but we respected him thoroughly for his strength and efficiency.
— Charles Ransom Miller, class of 1867
1865 Charles Ransom Miller leaves Kimball Union.
A Female Seminary is established so that young women can officially attend Kimball Union and receive an education on par with that of the young men. The Richards children, Charlie 9, Abbie 6, and Helen 11, from a tintype taken circa 1849.
Augustus Washington, class of 1843, went on to Dartmouth College and later became involved in the abolitionist movement. He was a famous African American daguerreotypist, whose bestknown portrait was this one, of John Brown the abolitionist, taken circa 1856.
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Richards was a licensed preacher, a professor and scholar of Latin and Greek, and the most influential principal of the nineteenth century. In 1865 he received an honorary LL.D. from Dartmouth. He married Helen Dorothy Whiton, whose ancestors had come from Banbury, England, in 1635 and settled in old Plymouth in 1637. They were married for 24 years, all of them spent in Meriden. She was described in the book, Annals of the Clan as “a talented and lovely woman, of broad sympathies and deep religious feeling—a fine musician and a successful writer of juvenile books and contributions to many religious periodicals.” The Richards had six children. Four attended the Academy and three became teachers there. In 1998, their great, great, great granddaughter, Molly Cherington, graduated from KUA. Cyrus Richards built the school from 100 students in 1835 to sometimes over 300, “. . . every house was bulging with students, and even at that it remains a mystery how 250 to 300 boys and girls could be accommodated.” Though Richards was said to be a stern and strict disciplinarian, he was loved by his students. The Regulations of the School in the Catalogue of 1844 lists 27 articles of behavior, most on the observation of the Sabbath, not creating disturbances, studying diligently, obeying the teachers, and the often-quoted, Article 20.
“All calls, walks, rides, &c., between the members of the two Departments, male and female, are strictly prohibited, except by special permission from the Principal.”
Chester B. Jordan, class of 1866, wrote in The Kimball Union in February 1903, “girls [were] kept entirely from the boys except in the recitation room. No longer ago than when I was in attendance they were not allowed to walk the street together.” Charles Ransom Miller, class of 1867, of Hanover Center, New Hampshire, is believed to have been a victim of Article 20. Although there is no written record of it, the story passed down is that he was caught holding hands with Francis Daniels, of Plainfield, New Hampshire, as they walked down Main Street. He left KUA, and Francis was allowed to continue and graduated in 1869. Miller went on to Dartmouth where he was again asked to leave, this time for reading French novels during Latin and Greek rather than paying attention in class. Kimball Union has copies of correspondence between former student Asa Dodge Smith (KUA class of 1826 and president of Dartmouth College at the time) and Miller, who pleaded to be allowed to return to Dartmouth. One such plea, “O God! I cannot bear the thought that my mother must look down from heaven upon the disgrace of her erring son, even though he never saw her face.” President Dodge relented and Miller returned to Dartmouth a reformed man. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was later awarded an honorary LL.D. He married Francis, his KUA sweetheart, and went on to become editor-in-chief of The New York Times, where he developed its institutional reputation during a 40-year tenure. Through his children, Madge and Hoyt, the Miller family became one of KUA’s most significant donors of the twentieth century.
Bryant Block was originally Daniel Kimball and John Bryant’s store. It was bought for a women’s domitory in 1858.
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The Second Academy became the wing of the Third Academy, which was built in 1839 through the energies and benefaction of Hannah Kimball and her original desire to have a Female Seminary.
A Female Seminary After her husband’s death, Hannah Kimball lived on in the home she had shared with him for another 30 years. She had been influential in her husband’s decision to make Kimball Union his residuary legatee. Perhaps because she had been a teacher before and after her marriage, Madam Kimball, as she was known, wanted to further the education of young women beyond the standard the Academy had set in 1815. Although young women had studied at Kimball Union since its opening, the school had been, first and foremost, an Academy for poor and pious young men.
“Hannah Kimball watched over the interests of the school as long as she lived, with a lively and motherly interest.”
This new addition increased the size of the school, with students coming not only from New England, but many other states and Canada, an indication of Kimball Union’s excellent reputation at the time. The connection with Dartmouth College also drew students.
Top to Bottom: Miss S. Helen Richards, Principal of the Female Department, 1846‒1856. Miss Lucelia Wakefield, teacher, 1857–1859. Miss Mary S. Bates, teacher, 1851–1859 and Principal of the Female Department, 1859–1863.
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In 1839, Madam Kimball went about accomplishing her dream by asking the townspeople to equal her gift of $1,250 for the establishment of a Female Seminary. She envisioned that it would be separate from the Academy, located a short distance away on the Duncan property on the south side of The Hilltop. The trustees of KUA and Principal Richards persuaded her that instead of two separate academies, they should be combined in one building with two separate departments. She agreed and an addition, known as the Third Academy, was added to the Second Academy, as the main building. The cornerstone was laid May 8, 1839. This made clear the new male and female departments with distinct classical, literary and classical, and English courses of study of three years. In the fall of 1840, young women were officially considered students at Kimball Union with many of the same rights and privileges of the young men.
Beyond the Classroom
17 | 1835–1871 expansion and prosperity
The students of the nineteenth century lived simply, without films, televisions, computers, ipods, dances, shopping malls, cars, and competitive athletics. When they were allowed off campus it was to travel by horse, stagecoach, and then train. Free time and relaxation were devoted largely to clubs, which were formed with very strict guidelines and charters. The Philadelphian Society, for men only, was granted a charter in 1850 by the State of New Hampshire, “for the purposes of mutual improvement in rhetoric and elocution.” Women enjoyed the Minervian Society, based on the same guidelines as the Philadelphian Society.
the spirit of Christian love, punctually to attend all the meetings of this Society, in the spirit of the gospel, and strive to promote its best interests.”
Other clubs included the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor and the Christian Fraternity, natural for an academy founded by devoted believers in the furtherance of the Christian Ministry. The programs reveal that both males and females took part.
There were similar societies for the underclassmen. These included the Addison Society for “mutual improvements in elocution, composition and debate.” There was the Middle Class, the Middle and Junior Class, and the Junior Literary Society. A program for the Middle and Junior Class Society lists males and females debating each other; a unique opportunity to students in those days of restrictive coeducation. Women also belonged to the Ladies Christian Association. Their charter states that, “The undersigned, desiring of advancing the cause of the Redeemer in the world, and their own growth in grace, and progress, in the divine life, and thinking that these objects may be the more effectually secured by voluntary association, do hereby resolve to organize themselves into a society . . . called the Ladies Christian Association. It shall be the duty of every member to cherish on her own bosom, and to diffuse around her, so far as she is able,
Programs for the Philadelphian Society and the Young Peoples’ Society of Christian Endeavor.
Mary Jane Hawes
Mary Jane Hawes Wilmarth, class of 1856, seated in the back seat to the right of Jane Addams in a Votes for Women parade. Addams was a prominent suffragette and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
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At the age of 75, she became a member of the Progressive Party and was one of two women delegates-at-large from Illinois to the Progressive National Convention held in Chicago in 1912. She met and marched with fellow suffragettes whenever she felt she could further the cause. Her friend, Jane Addams, who was a social reformer and well-known member of the early women’s suffrage movement, said of Hawes, “She never seemed to lose her zeal for public involvement in women’s suffrage.” In England, Addams wrote that a wellknown man of letters said to her, “that the person of greatest intellectual distinction whom he had met in America lived not in New York or Boston . . . but in Chicago.”
Chicago History Museum; ICHi-18330. Mrs. H. M. Wilmarth, 1820.
Chicago History Museum; DN-0059240. Jane Addams in a suffragette parade, 1912.
Most female students of the nineteenth century became homemakers, but many were teachers, presidents of colleges, missionaries, suffragettes, and westward pioneers. Raised in Newport, New Hampshire, Mary Jane Hawes, class of 1856, married Henry Wilmarth and led a quiet life raising her family in Chicago for 24 years. Upon her husband’s death, she dedicated herself to her lifelong interest in social and feminist concerns. She became a leader of many early women’s clubs, and worked for child labor laws and to secure a Saturday half-holiday for working women.
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A Sense of Place During the Richards Era, a number of buildings were acquired by the Academy and turned into dormitories. The Meriden House was a timber-framed inn that had been built in 1818 and renamed the Union Hotel in 1825, and then the Temperance House in 1837. It was often used by visiting parents. Kimball Union bought the inn in 1853 to be used as a female dormitory during the school year and as an inn in the summer. It was later renamed the Meriden House again. On March 4, 1890, Meriden House was destroyed by fire. The flames were so ferocious that they reached the bell tower of the church. If not for the quick thinking of some local men who climbed to the roof of the church and cut the tower off, the church might have been lost, too. The dormitory was rebuilt and called the Bird Village Inn to recognize the work of naturalist Harold Baynes who lived in Corbin Park, a nature preserve on Grantham Mountain, and who was a founding member of the Meriden Bird Club. The name was later changed to Dexter Richards Hall in honor of another great supporter and benefactor of the Academy. This beautiful, three-and-a-half story, old New England structure was torn down in the spring of 1936 and replaced by the current brick Dexter Richards Hall. The original dining hall and kitchens were incorporated into the new building and were used until Miller Student Center was completed in 1962. It is now the home of the KUA Daycare Center. The Meriden House (on the right), a boarding house built by John Bryant, came into the possesion of KUA in 1853 and was used as a dormitory. It was destroyed by fire in 1890.
The Sherman House was one of the early dormitories at KUA.
The Bryant Block or Old Block as it was known, had been the store owned by Daniel Kimball and John Bryant. The Academy purchased it in 1858 from John D. Bryant, son of John Bryant, to be used as a boarding house for female students. It was deeded back to John D. Bryant in 1910 and, sadly, burned in 1927. The cellar hole is known as the Sunken Garden.
Expansion and Prosperity 1835â€“1871 | 20
The Sherman House, now known as Rowe Hall, was purchased in 1867. The front part was built first and was used as the headmasterâ€™s home for many years. It then became home for the assistant headmaster until 1990 when Bishop Cottage was built. The dormitory in the back was added later. At one time there were kitchens in what is now a garage. The window on the right as you enter the dorm has a name etched into the glass by a female nineteenth-century student.
Left to Right: Students from the class of 1862, Oscar D. Robinson, Helen Dean, George W. Barber, and Luella Webster. At the far right is Oscar D. Robinson in his Civil War uniform.
21 | 1835–1871 expansion and prosperity
The Civil War The Civil War took its toll on KUA. Many students left to serve the Northern or Southern armies. Civil War historian Nicholas Picerno, father of Nick Picerno, class of 1998, wrote Courageous and Faithful for the KUA archives, chronicling KUA’s involvement in the war. He wrote, “Approximately 215 graduates and students of KUA were to participate in all aspects of the Civil War. They served as general officers, field officers, naval officers, surgeons, chaplains, provost marshals, enlisted men, and, in several instances, as officers of the Confederate States of America.” Twenty KUA men enlisted in Company E of the 9th New Hampshire Infantry. Picerno wrote, “On leaving Meriden, the students took with them a silk flag, measuring about five feet by eight feet which was presented by the young ladies of Kimball Union. It bore the motto ‘Animo et Fide’ (Courageous and Faithful). The flag was carried by the KUA boys into Virginia, but soon after their first campaign, the flag was returned to the school because of regulations forbidding the use of flags on a company level. After the war the flag was placed in Robinson’s possession.”
Oscar D. Robinson of Cornish, New Hampshire, had given the KUA valedictory address in 1862 reflecting his thoughts as a new trial of life was about to begin. “Classmates the parting hours has come! The old chapel bell has summoned us for the last time! Already perchance our thoughts have wandered far beyond the distant hills where quiet homes and loving friends would bid us speak the sacred parting word . . . we realize that we are called to serve no other bonds of friendship than those formed by engaging in a common pursuit, striving for a common goal and reaping a common reward.” Three years later he wrote the following to his mother, “I know you have followed us in imagination thru every day of weary marching, of lingering sickness and bloody fighting & for ought to know our lives are spared in answer to your fervent unceasing prayers in our behalf. We may see some hard service yet, but what was most to be decided the terrible battles where tens of thousands met at dawn of day in the bloom of health and vigor of manhood to struggle, to fall, to die, and we might fall to strew the field with mangled corpses—these scenes of terror are past and God grant that they may never again be repeated on American soil. Yes the war is over!”
African American Students KUA is distinguished as one of the few schools before the Civil War to accept students of color. These men made valuable contributions to society at a turbulent time in our country’s history.
James D. Lynch, class of 1855, was born in Baltimore in 1839. His father was a freeborn merchant and minister, but his mother was a slave. He was sent to KUA for two years, “one of the few Northern schools accepting Negro students prior to 1860.” His brother, John, also attended for a year. Lynch served as an army chaplain for colored regiments during the Civil War, after which he became a missionary in Mississippi. He was the foremost African American politician in Mississippi and became Secretary of State there in 1871. He died at the age of 34, much loved by his people and respected by all.
After 36 years at the helm, Cyrus Richards retired as principal of Kimball Union in 1871. He had guided the school with a sure hand, and had greatly influenced the growth and success of the new Academy. Richards went on to a professorship at Howard University in Washington, DC, to pursue his keen interest in the welfare of recently emancipated slaves. He was a professor of Latin and Greek and Dean of the Preparatory Department. In 1980 he wrote a short history for the School Directory of 1815–1880, which has been a valuable source of information about the early life of the school. Richards died on July 19, 1885, and is buried in Mill Cemetery in Meriden quite near the Kimballs, Bryants, and Duncans.
“Little space is left me to speak of the results and fruits which have been the outgrowth of an institution thus Providentially founded and cared for. Nor would it be possible to begin to estimate these, in the present generations or in the present world. Without a figure, these are ‘fruits immortal.’ Like the waves that chase each other over the restless ocean, the influences that have gone out from this fountain, as a power for good, have pervaded the entire land—the world.” —Cyrus Smith Richards
expansion and prosperity 1835–1871 | 22
Jonathan C. Gibbs, class of 1848, was born free in Philadelphia. He so impressed the Presbyterian Assembly that they paid for him to attend KUA. It was an “academy under guidance of abolitionist Principal Cyrus S. Richards.” Gibbs was the third African American to graduate from Dartmouth College, and, while there, came under the influence of three professors and joined the Abolitionist Movement. He later became a Presbyterian minister. Gibbs was among the most powerful black officeholders in the state of Florida during reconstruction. The first African American Superintendent of Public Instruction in Florida, he also served as Secretary of State there from 1868 to 1873. He helped further free public education in Florida and in establishing schools for African Americans.
Main Street, Kimball Union, circa 1890.
Postwar Struggle Six principals followed Cyrus Richards in the three decades before the turn of the century. Kimball Union had its difficulties during this time, and by 1890 the school’s survival was in doubt. As in the past though, teachers and principals worked hard to provide the students with an excellent education, and the Academy’s graduates continued to achieve success and make their mark on the world.
The Reverend John E. Goodrich was principal for just one year, from 1871 to 1872. After graduating from the University of Vermont in 1853 and Andover Theology Seminary in 1860, he was a Chaplain in the 1st Vermont Cavalry during the Civil War and a teacher and pastor in various schools and towns, rising to superintendent of schools in Burlington, Vermont. His was not an easy year at KUA, according to George J. Cummings, who was at that time a teacher at KUA, and later himself became a principal at the school. In his autobiography, Cummings wrote that Richards’ health was so impaired during his last year that he had to take time off to rest. With public high schools springing up and a great typhoid scare in Meriden, the future of the Academy was uncertain. The trustees felt that with a young and vigorous man “at the head, the tide could be turned.” Cummings added that, “It was fortunate for the school that he [Goodrich] stayed only one year as he was a misfit and lacked power to control students. The pupils would hiss and scrape in chapel when he said things they did not like. The evil influences of that year were felt for several years in different ways.”
23 | 1871–1890 Postwar Struggle
1871 Public high schools threaten the future of Kimball Union.
John E. Goodrich, Principal 1871–1872.
Courtesy of Dartmouth College Library
Lewis A. Austin, Principal 1872–1875.
George J. Cummings, Principal 1875–1880.
Charles A. Eastman marching in full regalia at his Dartmouth class reunion.
I had a love for the school that led me to wish to help it, if possible, to pass the present crisis. So in my mind I had decided to stand by for at least five years if my teachers would remain with me. — George J. Cummings, principal 1875–1880
1875 KUA faces such great financial difficulty that the trustees have to use the endowment’s principal to pay the bills.
1879 May Belle Chellis graduates from KUA and goes on to Middlebury College.
Miss Mary S. Prentiss, Principal of the Female Department, 1869–1879 and 1887–1890.
Charles A. Eastman, a Dakota Sioux, graduates and goes on to Dartmouth College and medical school.
The Third Academy, June 1876.
Enrollment at KUA drops to 50 students.
It was under their teaching that I first learned of the glory and grandeur of the ancient civilization . . . They gave me a vision of the world when it was young and showed me how it grew.
— President Calvin Coolidge, praising May Belle Chellis and another teacher
Postwar Struggle 1871–1890 | 24
The Reverend Lewis Augustine Austin, principal from 1872 to 1875, was born in Poultney, Vermont, and graduated from Middlebury College in 1856. After years as a teacher and a pastor, including teaching Greek at Middlebury, he was hired by KUA. Cummings apparently approved, â€œThe next principal was a man well calculated to gain and hold the respect of his students although the discipline was not an easy matter.â€? Austin resigned after three years because of ill health. George J. Cummings became the seventh principal in 1875. Graduating in the class of 1865, he had entered KUA at age 25 to prepare for college, although he had attended other schools on and off, teaching when necessary to pay his expenses. In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, he thought he would have to give up college and become a soldier. Principal Richards advised him to pay a commutation fee of $300 to be released from that duty. He found a man willing to lend him the money with his father as security. In the end his town paid the commutations of six men who had been drafted. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1869, Cummings taught at KUA until he was chosen to be the next principal. Because KUA was in great financial difficulty, with the trustees having reduced the endowment fund in order to pay the bills, he was considering an offer to teach at St. Johnsbury Academy. But the trustees gave Cummings wide latitude to spend the income as he thought wise, the teachers agreed to stay on, and he and his assistant agreed to share equally any money that was left over after settling the bills. In the end they were only $50 under their usual salaries. Although he was offered more lucrative jobs, Cummings stayed to guide Kimball Union for five years. Students gather in front of the Third Academy building for a school photograph. Several brave young men pose on the roof and a handful of distinctly braver ones stand on the belfry, circa 1885.
Left to Right: Carrie Brown Coolidge, class of 1881, is buried in Plymouth Notch Cemetery in Vermont. Her stepson, President Calvin Coolidge, lies nearby. May Belle Chellis, class of 1879, was the first female graduate of Middlebury College.
May Belle had another distinction in that she was a teacher of Calvin Coolidge at the Black River Academy in southern Vermont. He wrote of her and a fellow teacher, “I owed much to the inspiration and scholarly direction which they gave to my undergraduate days. They both lived to see me President and sent me letters at the time.” Also connected to Calvin Coolidge, Carrie Althelia Brown came to KUA in 1879, graduating Salutatorian in 1881 along with six other
young women and three young men. Carrie taught school in Plymouth, Chester, and Bellows Falls, Vermont, before becoming superintendent of Plymouth Schools and then postmaster. Carrie Brown is best known for becoming the wife of President Calvin Coolidge’s father in 1891. Coolidge wrote in praise of his stepmother in his autobiography, “My absence from home during my freshman year was more easy for me to bear because I was no longer leaving my father alone. Just before the opening of college he had married Miss Carrie A. Brown, who was one of the finest women of our neighborhood. I had known her all my life. After being without a mother nearly seven years I was greatly pleased to find in her all the motherly devotion that she could have given me if I had been her own son. She was a graduate of Kimball Union Academy and had taught school for some years. Loving books and music she was not only a mother to me but a teacher. For thirty years she watched over me and loved me, welcoming me when I went home, writing me often when I was away, and encouraging me in all my efforts. When at last she sank to rest she had seen me made Governor of Massachusetts and knew I was being considered for the Presidency.”
Postwar Struggle 1871–1890 | 26
May Belle Chellis, a native of Meriden and a woman of distinction, attended KUA during this time. She became the first woman to graduate from Middlebury College. The faculty planning the Commencement Ceremony wrote, “In view of the fact that the vote of the Trustees admitting women to the College did not appear to authorize the Faculty in assigning Commencement honors to a lady, it was decided to assign the Valedictory address at the coming Commencement to Billings of the Senior Class (although Miss Chellis was the first scholar in the class).” However, she did appear on the graduation program delivering an address, “The Growth of Criticism” and, along with Billings, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Dr. Charles A. Eastman
He spoke at his KUA commencement and during his lifetime wrote several books. Dr. Eastman was a physician at the Wounded Knee massacre and tended to wounded troops and Sioux alike. One of his greatest contributions was interpreting Indians and whites to each other. A 1981 issue of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine listed Dr. Eastman as one of Dartmouth’s most famous graduates of the nineteenth century.
Dr. Charles A. Eastman, KUA class of 1883, Dartmouth class of 1887.
Courtesy of Dartmouth College Library
27 | 1871–1890 Postwar Struggle
Another noteworthy alumnus of this period was Dr. Charles A. Eastman, a Dakota Sioux who graduated in the class of 1883, then from Dartmouth College and Boston University Medical School. Eastman wrote, “At Kimball Union Academy, the little ancient institution at which I completed my preparation for college . . . I absorbed much knowledge of the New Englander and his peculiarities. I found Yankees of the uneducated class very Indian-like in their views and habits; a people of strong character, plainspoken, and opinionated. However, I observed that the students of the academy and their parents were very frugal and saving. Nothing could have been more instructive to me, as we Indians are inclined to be improvident. I had been accustomed to broad, fertile prairies, and liberal ways. Here they seemed to count their barrels of potatoes and apples before they were grown. Every little brooklet was forced to do a river’s work in their mills and factories.”
Top: The first athletic field, the Old Playground, was originally purchased in 1843 from Levi Bryant for $100, with $75 being used to level the field. Located above Munro House, this field was used for over 50 years as a baseball and football field. Bottom: The Baseball Nine, 1880.
A New Decade Marshall Richards Gaines followed Cummings as principal from 1880 to 1884. He had graduated from Yale College in 1865 and Yale Theological College in 1874, then was a teacher until he was ordained and began missionary work in Japan and Mexico. David George Miller, KUA’s ninth principal, served from 1884 to 1890. He had just graduated from Dartmouth at age 23, making him the youngest man to become principal at KUA, younger even than Richards, who was 27. Miller left KUA to become a teacher and principal at Taunton High School in Massachusetts, until he and his wife Maude returned to Meriden where he died in 1913 and was buried in Mill Cemetery in Meriden. In the nineteenth century, many students went on from KUA to become lawyers, governors, missionaries, ministers, teachers, and pioneers. In an article written by Reverend S. L. Gerould, class of 1854, about KUA in the 1888 Granite Monthly Magazine, he listed the following alumni statistics from KUA’s short history up to that year, 1888:
Marshall R. Gaines, Principal 1880–1884.
Postwar Struggle 1871–1890 | 28
• 350 ministers with 26 of them missionaries abroad; • 550 entered Dartmouth College; • 7 college presidents (with 2 Dartmouth, 1 Middlebury, and 1 Hamilton); • 34 professors at colleges or professional schools; • 4 members of congress; • 4 judges of higher courts; • and many hundreds who became successful in other chosen fields.
William H. Cummings, Principal 1890–1900.
Revival William Cummings led the school from 1890 to 1900. By that time, enrollment had dropped to 50 from a high of over 300 in 1850. The growth of public schools was blamed for the precipitous decline. There was talk of moving the school closer to the railroad, but Judge Nesmith of the Superior Court ruled that this could not legally be done. It was a former KUA teacher who devised a plan to revitalize the school.
Living in New York City, Myra L. Everest recognized the great contrast between the life of a factory worker and the healthy lives of KUA students. She wanted to help the Academy solve their financial problems. Her idea became known as the One Hundred Dollar Plan, whereby a student paid $100 for board, room, fuel, lights, and full tuition rights, but was required to work “cheerfully” for one hour each day. While not always popular with the students, the plan was a success.
William Cummings begins his tenure as the 10th principal, seeing the school through to the end of the nineteenth century. The class of 1900.
29 | 1890–1900 Revival
Used as a dormitory in the winter and an inn in the summer, the Bird Village Inn opened in September 1892. The name was later changed to Dexter Richards Hall in honor of its major donor.
The Third Academy burns to the ground.
The Fourth Academy is completed, to be later renamed Baxter Hall.
Dexter Richards Dining Hall.
KUA plays its first football game against Vermont Academy, beginning a football rivalry that would last more than 100 years.
In this quiet village we are so isolated from the neighboring schools that we are in danger of losing touch with the outside educational world. A system of exchanges, carried on by a well-supported school-paper, removes all possibility of this danger.
— the editor of The Kimball Union, April 1892
The class of young ladies under Miss Johnson seems to be benefited by their regular and careful exercise, if we may judge by appearances. Some of them have lately been seen a long way from the protecting walls of the academy, tramping through three feet of snow with evident enjoyment. We hear now and then of some of their feats of strength and agility. For instance, one of them made several successive trips across the overhead ladder, while another cleared something like 3½ feet in the high jump. Doing well, girls!
— The Kimball Union, February 1893 Honorable Dexter Richards, trustee 1869– 1898, of Newport, New Hampshire, who often remembered the school with his gifts.
Revival 1890–1900 | 30
The Kimball Union In April 1892, the first issue of The Kimball Union was written and published by students. It also contained articles written by alumni and included school and local news, alumni news, and athletic reports.
31 | 1890–1900 Revival
A section called “On the Hill” in the November 1892 issue shows how, in some ways, little changes over the years. It states that, “Students enjoyed the privilege of coasting on the hill until forbidden by the town authorities.” In an April 1893 article, called “Woman versus the Ballot,” Maurice J. Duncklee, class of 1893, debated an important topic of the day. This very long article related all the differences between the sexes over the centuries and concluded with an explanation of why women should not vote. “It is not man’s place to be in the house, in its varied cares. What it would take him half an hour to do, a woman would do with one stroke of her hand. Is it any more reasonable that woman should take man’s place? What I am endeavoring to prove is this: that woman was not intended to rule . . . Oh, women of America, have a care! Look the ground over in all its possibilities for mistakes; see whether you can better the condition of mankind, make life dearer, home sweeter, and heaven more to be desired by the help of the ballot.” The cover of The Kimball Union in the nineteenth century featured the Third Academy building at the top right and the Fourth Academy building before its early twentieth-century renovations.
Football Team, 1893.
Track Team, 1894, “KUA Champions of ’94.”
Athletics The inaugural issue of The Kimball Union reported that “the first game with an outside ball team was played at Windsor April 16th . . . which resulted in a glorious victory for K.U.A. The game was won by seasonable hitting, sharp base running, and nearly perfect field work.” They beat Windsor High School 10–5. It is interesting to note that the players had uniforms, the catcher had a mask and catcher’s mitt, and the team had gloves and rough-looking cleats on their shoes. Baseball existed before this time, as evidenced by a team picture in 1880, but did not play other schools.
—Maurice J. Duncklee, class of 1893
In 1897 the first of KUA’s football games against Vermont Academy was played, with Vermont winning 22–0. The KUA Track Champions of 1894 broke records in the 100-yard dash, mile run, 220 hurdles, running broad jump, 120 hurdles, and standing high jump. Someone proudly wrote on the back of the photograph, “Hoffman, KUA’s greatest sprinter ran the 100 yards dash in 10.5 seconds.” There is also mention of KUA’s first-ever field day in 1892 and in November 1892, there is an article in The Kimball Union advocating for athletics in school. “The school with a good athletic record must greatly outrank the one which has none. Nor are the honors won for self and the school the least of the benefits the contest brings, for experience has proved again and again that the man who would study hard must, that his mind may endure the strain, take the vigorous exercise which the athletic field can furnish best.”
Revival 1890–1900 | 32
“A beautiful afternoon in early October. The maples are clothed in their autumn beauty, and there is just enough chill in the air to make physical exercise a joy. The Academy bell has announced release from class room activities and a horde of eager boys are racing toward the playground . . . The wooden stands filled with the girls of the school . . . The baseball team at grips with an ancient rival . . . The game is saved! Great excitement and rejoicing. The Academy bell sends the good news pealing over hill and valley.”
Duncklee also described a wild form of football that seemed to consist of two teams lined up against opposite fences. One player would kick the ball, everyone would run for it, kicking and knocking each other over until eventually someone kicked the ball over the other team’s fence. He concluded the description with these words, “The present modern game was not attempted until the fall of 1892, when a Dartmouth man came down from Hanover and taught the rudiments.”
The Fourth Academy was built in 1892.
A Sense of Place Another disastrous fire in 1891 burned the Second and Third Academy buildings to the ground. The fire began at 3 a.m. in one of the chimneys. According to the New Hampshire Argus and Spectator, the library and most of the other valuables were saved. The Academy wrote in an article about the fire, “the familiar sweet-toned bell had rung its last call.” The newspaper reported that the students living in the building were lucky to escape.
Dr. Edward K. Baxter, class of 1858, gave liberally for the construction of the Fourth Academy. It was named for him in 1915.
The Second and Third Academy burned in 1891.
Revival 1890–1900 | 34
The Fourth Academy building was erected in 1892 in the Queen Anne style. By vote of the trustees on September 30, 1915, it was named for Dr. Edward K. Baxter of Sharon, Vermont, a great supporter and alumnus of the Academy. The cost of the building was $14,000, with $5,000 coming from the insurance from the fire and the rest from friends and alumni. The basement held the chemistry lab and a gymnasium and on the first floor there was a chapel that seated 150 people, with sliding doors into the next room for another 125 people. There was a reading room in the tower with the principal’s office next door. The second floor included recitation rooms and the library; the third floor was used as a dormitory.
Ernest Roleston Woodbury, Principal 1900–1905.
A New Century The first full school year of the twentieth century opened with a new principal at KUA. Ernest Roleston Woodbury had graduated from Bowdoin College just five years earlier, in 1895, then taught in Fryeburg , Maine. Many of KUA’s activities and traditions of the nineteenth century continued during his tenure at the Academy. After leaving KUA, he was a very successful principal for the next 32 years at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine.
For most of the twentieth century, faculty lived in the dormitories and were on duty virtually every night. All three meals—seven days a week except Sunday evening—were sit down, formal meals with assigned seating. Faculty members coached three sports or were involved in one of a growing number of afternoon activities each day, including popular theatre productions.
1900 With the turn of the century comes a new principal, Ernest Roleston Woodbury.
The Class of 1902.
35 | 1900–1905 A New Century
Extracurricular activities included theatre productions. As You Like It was performed in the Meriden Bird Club Sanctuary in 1902.
The class of 1902 performs As You Like It.
The class of 1903, pictured on the porch and in front of Dexter Richards Hall.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream was presented by the class of 1904 in the “Campus Woods.”
This Institution asks for hearty, whole souled effort, and in return promises a sound, practical, thorough academic education.
Ernest Everett Just, prominent African American biologist, graduates from Kimball Union.
— 1900 Kimball Union General Catalogue
Between each of these associations and the school there is a strong feeling of mutual interest, and the latter looks to the former for that encouragement and aid that those who have had the benefits of the old Academy are only too glad to give in appreciative return, and it has never looked in vain.
The KUA football team beats Vermont Academy, 87–0.
— General Alumni Association and Boston Alumni Association, statement of alumni interest in funding A New Century 1900–1905 | 36
37 | 1900–1905 A New Century
Principal Woodbury had the honor of leading KUA while one of its most distinguished graduates of the twentieth century, Ernest Everett Just, was in attendance. A member of the class of 1903 who went on to become a renowned biologist, E.E. Just was not only an excellent scholar, he was also involved in many school activities, which included playing Tom Twist in She Stoops to Conquer. He was a member of the Junior Literary Society and in 1900 gave a recitation, “Glorious New England.”
The following year, he was treasurer of The Philadelphian Society and in his senior year, vice president of the society. His Senior Oration was, “The Salvation of American Politics.” At Commencement, Just read “Government Ownership of Monopolies” for which he won the William P. Fiske prize for excellence in senior essays. Just was also the Editor-in-Chief of The Kimball Union his senior year. His article, “A Firm Foundation,” finished with the following words, “Character is what we want. That character which stands as a ‘cedar of Lebanon,’ perfect in itself, with the waters of truth and love nursing its roots. . . . So, fellow students, try for the right start. Aim high. Strive to conquer the false. Live with the true, and when you are ready to embark on life’s unknown waters, place yourself at the helm confident of but one destination—Success. Steer clear of Failure, and if you have Truth as your compass, Justice and Right as your protecting stars, God at your side, and the helm of Character, your course is clear and the end sure.”
Be a man, honest and true, Though no one knows it but God and you; Prepare daily for this ceaseless strife And let determination mark your life. Seek not false beauty’s luring form But Character’s, unshocked by storm; Then life can for you who this possess Have but one end, and that’s Success. — Ernest Everett Just E.E. Just, Editor-in-Chief, with the Editorial Board of The Kimball Union.
E.E. Just went on to Dartmouth College, where he received the highest marks any freshman had ever received in Greek, a testament to his preparation at Kimball Union. Inspired by professors Gerould and Patten, he graduated magna cum laude in 1907 with a major in zoology and minor in English. Under the tutelage of Dr. Frank Lillie he earned his doctorate in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1916. The color barrier in the United States kept him from teaching in a “white” university, so he was drawn to research institutes in Berlin and Naples where he was an international authority on the fertilization of eggs and the structure of the cell. Returning to the United States in 1938 to escape the spread of Fascism in Germany and Italy, he continued at Howard University until his death of cancer in 1941.
“Dr. Ernest Everett Just was born on August 14, 1883, in Charleston, South Carolina. He attended a school established by his mother, and then the Industrial School of Orangeburg. At seventeen he worked his way north on a coastal boat service until he had earned enough money to enroll at Kimball Union Academy. Everett chose the classical course of study that involved Latin, Greek, and some Hebrew and finished the fouryear course in three years. He was editor of the Kimball Union newspaper, won first prize for extemporaneous speaking, and earned top honors in Greek.”
This large poster recognizes the life and accomplishments of E.E. Just. It is permanently on display in the E.E. Just Environmental Center in Fitch Science Hall at Kimball Union Academy.
A New Century 1900–1905 | 38
The work of E.E. Just has been widely recognized across the country. A Baltimore middle school is named in his honor and, in 1996, the United States Post Office issued a stamp bearing his photograph in recognition of his life’s work. KUA named its Environmental Center, an addition to Fitch Science Hall, after him. At the entrance, there is a large reproduction of E.E. Just, the stamp, and a short biography on the wall.
Beyond the Classroom In 1900, Samuel L. Powers, class of 1870, provided money for a new field at the bottom of the hill. The Old Playground was later deeded to John D. Bryant, class of 1853, son of John Bryant.
39 | 1900–1905 A New Century
Athletics had become an important part of school life, although more so for male students than females. A section on athletics in The Kimball Union states that, “The Academy authorities believe in a reasonable amount of athletics wisely guided and directed. The school has been singularly fortunate in its strong athletic track teams, its base ball and foot ball teams which have won notable victories.” KUA hoped to have an athletic field that “. . . will be among the best of those possessed by New England academies.” The four main athletic teams were football, basketball, baseball, and track for men. The teams were successful, some with amazing seasonal scores as in football for 1904: KUA 267–opponents 6. We beat Vermont Academy by the incredible score of 87–0. KUA Archives has the football helmet and spikes (cleats) that Earle Colby, ’06, nailed to his shoes when he played in 1904. Also residing in the archives are the leather, sheepskin-lined mittens he used when he drove the horse-drawn wagon (sleigh in the winter) to KUA from the family farm in Plainfield, now Edgewater Farm on the River Road. This photo, taken during the 1904–1905 school year, is of seven women students in their exercise bloomers and midi blouses who got together to play basketball. Mary Cassedy, former faculty and Plainfield resident, described her mother,
For entertainment, many students still took part in the various recitation groups such as the Minervian and Philadelphian Societies.
Football on the church green in 1902.
A New Century 1900–1905 | 40
Madge Daniels, class of 1906, as one of the organizers, “an active woman who didn’t like corsets or behaving like a lady. Bloomers were probably a pleasure for her to wear.”
Charles A. Tracy, Headmaster 1905–1935.
Centenary & World War Charles Alden Tracy, valedictorian of the class of 1893 and graduate of Dartmouth College in 1897 (H. MA 1922), became the 12th principal of KUA. The title was changed to headmaster in 1916. He was the longest serving of the century and the second longest to date in KUA’s 200-year history. Tracy was born November 16, 1872, at the Tracy Homestead in Cornish, New Hampshire, a farm that has been in the Tracy family since 1793 and remains in the family to this day.
Tracy was a direct descendent of William Tracy, who came to America in 1620 and later became Governor of the Virginia Colony, and of John Alden, who was Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony and a Mayflower passenger. Before coming to KUA, Tracy worked in public education in three other schools, as principal of the first two and then as superintendent of the schools in Claremont, New Hampshire. He met his wife Grace Powell in Hillsboro, New Hampshire, where they were married in 1901. While at KUA, Grace was totally involved in the life of the Academy as a tutor, librarian, organist, and devoted caretaker of the students. They had three children, Elizabeth, class of 1918; Stephen, class of 1923 valedictorian; and Charles Jr., also class of 1923 and ranked third, who graduated at age 15. Enrollment stood at 94 students in 1905, but slowly, by the centenary in 1913, the school population rose to 144 students. The curriculum became more defined as one course of study and not the usual two of classical and English studies. Tracy’s first year was noted for balancing the budget and instilling in his students “sound work habits . . . a religious spirit that was both demanding and kindly: these would become the recurring themes in Mr. Tracy’s 30-year tenure at the Academy.” Two great events came to KUA early in Tracy’s administration: one celebratory and local, the other horrific and global. The first was the Centenary Celebration of the founding of Kimball Union Academy in 1813. The second was World War I.
41 | 1905–1935 Centenary and World War
1913 Kimball Union Academy celebrates its centennial.
Bryant Hall Common Room, circa 1930.
Winter Carnival was a much-anticipated annual event. Football, Samuel L. Powers Field 1915.
Albion E. Lang Pool is constructed for the dual purpose of water storage in case of fire and recreation for the students.
Girls’ basketball has its first interscholastic season.
Madge Miller, daughter of Charles Ransom Miller, gives $50,000 to KUA.
KUA reluctantly becomes a boys’ school.
Our teachers were all fine men and women whom we looked up to then and remember now with love and respect . . . our teachers lived with us, taught us our lessons, corrected our mistakes, offered sympathy and guidance in our distress and joined us in our fun.
For thirty years I have given the best I had, poor though it be, to keep faith with the past and with children of present and succeeding generations. In a figure, by transfusion my lifeblood is flowing in the veins of Kimball Union Academy, and I love the institution. May God give wisdom to the trustees in their plans for the administration of this great trust.
— Bessie Fogg Cook, class of 1911, in 1949
— Charles Alden Tracy, 1935
Planting a tree on the church green in 1914, in front of Baxter Hall before renovations.
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Right and Below: Scenes from the Centenary Pageant performed on Pageant Hill in 1913.
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Centenary Celebration Preparation began two years before the centenary when the trustees appointed a committee to coordinate the events for the celebration. The centenary events followed commencement, and the day was full of history and drama, “. . . the principal historical address was delivered by Dr. Charles H. Richards, class of 1854, son of the distinguished former principal, Cyrus Smith Richards. The pageant was held on Pageant Hill, which was part of a farm donated the same year to the Academy by Alfred S. Hall of Boston, class of 1869, in memory of his son, Francis C. Hall. The grandstand on Pageant Hill, which was built to accommodate 2,000 people, faced west, thus making it possible to take in the pageant in the immediate foreground, backed by clumps of low, white pines and firs; Meriden on its hilltop, in the middle distance; and Mt. Ascutney far beyond.” Classes from 1849 through 1913, except for four, were in attendance. Pageant Hill is more familiarly known today as the Potato Patch.
William Chauncey Langdon of New York, president of the American Pageant Association, was hired to write and direct a pageant for the celebration. It included nine historical episodes featuring dramatic re-enactments of KUA’s important events, with musical interludes.
World War I As in the Civil War, more than 200 KUA alumni and students served their country in the armed forces, and many received distinguished service crosses and commissions for their acts of heroism and devotion. One of those young men, Russell K. Bourne, class of 1913, was killed in action in October 1918, in France. Anthony D. Colby, his friend from the class of 1914, wrote to Mr. Tracy, “It is with great regret that I am writing you that my very dear friend Russell K. Bourne was killed about two months ago while fighting with the American Forces in France. . . . He always had a great regard, or should I say love, for Old KUA.”
In the report for the year ending 1920, we can see a change in the wind of public opinion and behavior. After the war and during the decade known as the “Roaring Twenties,” the changes in young people’s thoughts and behavior must have been difficult to understand for those used to following a strict behavior code. Tracy
A scene from one of the historical episodes The People of Meriden Saved from Idleness.
KUA’s WWI Honor Roll as it appeared in The Kimball Union.
wrote, “The discipline of the school for the year was extremely difficult. . . The boys and the girls seemed to possess a restless spirit. They found restraint of any kind particularly irksome and continually fretted at the ordinary rules of school community life. . . Irreverence, irresponsibility, selfishness, seeking of personal pleasure are shaping young life as they never have before. There seems to be a breaking down of the influence of the home, of respect for authority, of reverence for things which we have been taught to hold sacred, of pride in self and the dignity of manhood and womanhood.” He then writes at some length concerning ways to work with the students and parents, what to allow and what to hold firm to of the old ways. Tracy served as headmaster for another 15 years, surely a sign that he had found a way forward.
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Headmaster Tracy’s report to the trustees in 1919 shows his personal grief. “Thirteen young men have made the supreme sacrifice. Something of their spirit ought to be imparted to us and to those who shall come after us. That those who shall live at the Academy in the years to come may have a constant reminder of the sacrifice of these brave boys, I suggest some form of memorial to be established at Meriden. . . I should like at my own expense to set a row of trees around the Powers Playing Field, one tree for each boy who served in the war, and one tree, for each of the boys who died, along the lane leading to the field.”
Beyond the Classroom
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Winter Carnival, a long-held tradition at KUA, included a toboggan slide in 1923. Built by the boys, it “afforded many thrills on the moonlit evening.” There was ski jumping, an endurance race for the boys, dashes for the girls, and three obstacle races. After dinner there were potato races, cross-country skiing, and exhibition jumping. In years to come the athletic events were followed by a formal dance, either in the dining hall or gym. By 1929 Mountain Day was an annual trip for the seniors. In their yearbook, they describe the day of “the traditional trip to Mt. Ascutney.” The “cheerful party gamboled about on the top, exploring caves and cabins, and enjoying the magnificent view . . . All assembled to partake of the cheery repast prepared by the amiable Ma Kelley, a KUA cook of many years, and many are our thanks to the estimable Ma . . . The would–be sculptors gave vent to their hidden talents, placing the numerals of the class of 1929 with those of our predecessors.” Recent climbers have found these carvings on granite boulders. There was a Philharmonic Society, made up of both teachers and students, and the Dramatic Club was a new organization that had great success that year. They called themselves The Masque and Sandal, and performed two plays in the Silver Gym and three, one-act plays. “The Saturday evening socials were made more interesting through plays presented by the club. There were three full evening entertainments. A Christmas pageant entitled The Way was given at the church.” Winter Carnival included sleigh rides, toboggan rides, snowshoeing, and a tug-of-war.
Top to Bottom: Climbing the tower at Mt. Ascutney on Mountain Day. Winter Carnival snowshoeing. Ma Kelley, cook, and Randolph Webster, class of 1923.
Mountain Day on Mt. Ascutney in 1929.
The annual tug of war during Winter Carnival.
— Calvin Coolidge in a telegram from the White House on June 11, 1928, to Herbert E. Ward of Plainfield, New Hampshire, who was a KUA classmate and friend of Carrie Coolidge
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“Please extend to the graduates and alumni of Kimball Union Academy my cordial good wishes and greetings. May this Commencement mark the beginning of a period of renewed usefulness and service for the school.”
Are we on top? Well, I guess we are, We’ve made Old V.A. Look like thirty pennies, pennies, For I’d like to know What to do with the “dough,” For old kimball Is marching on to glory.
Photo and Inset: Baseball, 1922. A poem from the back of a 1907 postcard, illustrated with two football players.
Athletics There were two football games versus Vermont Academy in 1907. KUA won the first 7–0 and VA the second 15–0. KUA continued to play VA each year, making it the thirdoldest rivalry in prep school football. While VA led in overall wins, in later years KUA held the advantage.
“One car which Dad enjoyed especially was a long Lincoln limousine with a glass division between the spacious rear compartment and the chauffeur’s seat. Dad purchased this beauty from a wealthy acquaintance who changed cars every two years. I remember that the glass division was removed but that the phone used for giving instructions to the chauffeur continued to be a source of amusement to family, students, and friends. It provided transportation on many occasions to football games at Colby Academy and Proctor Academy.” — Stephen Tracy ’23
Girls’ basketball had its first interscholastic season in 1925. Practice started early in November for the 11 girls and they won their first game against Proctor 28–15, finishing the season 2–2. The yearbook states that “Much of the success of this first season is due to the loyal and hearty support of the whole school, and it is fully appreciated.” It was suggested the girls have an Athletic Association. They agreed and in 1928 raised enough money to defray basketball expenses by having a Halloween social. Interestingly, they wrote, “Enough money was taken from the treasury for field hockey equipment and the girls played hockey with enjoyment as their daily recreation until basketball was organized.” Top to Botton: The 1906 football team. Track, 1927. Girls’ basketball, circa 1930.
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In 1923, football, basketball, and baseball for men are featured in the yearbook, The Hilltop. There was an all-male Athletic Association and also an all-male Outing Club. The football team had a record of 4–1–1 (KUA tied VA 0-0 that year.) Basketball was 5–8 and baseball, with an amazing 19 games, was 14–4 with one “rained out.”
Letf to Right: Miss Day, Preceptress circa 1932, who checked the girls’ dresses before a social event. Ruth Benfield, class of 1922 and KUA trustee 1984–1991.
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In 1986 alumni were asked to share their memories for an article in KUAlumni Magazine. Their responses offer a window to a different time and place. “Mr. Tracy’s appearance [was] tall, spare, straight, rather Lincoln-esque. He was assured, easy-mannered, extremely dignified but never, never pompous. In my mind today I can see and hear him on the platform at chapel as clearly as I did sixty years ago. He spoke and read beautifully, with perfect timing . . . A couple of times I had occasion to stand before Mr. Tracy in his corner office, to be reprimanded for some infraction of rules. Back to the windows, that stern figure sat in august judgment. . . He tapped his pencil on the desk while he considered, and the guilty party felt guiltier every second and rued the day he (she!) had erred. When sentence finally was passed (after a good, sound lecture) it was severe but fair. This was an experience one did not care to repeat.” — Helen Barney Whittemore ’23
“Charles Alden was a man of few words, not given to histrionics. He was in no way sneaky, but he seemed to have an uncanny way of making unanticipated appearances. I never have figured it out, but he also seemed to know our thoughts in advance.” — Daniel C. Cotton ’31
“You were limited in lights because they had you go to bed at 10:00. I went to the bathroom where there was the one and only light . . . if I needed a little more studying.” — Ruth Wood Benfield ’22 “The boys Philadelphian and girls Minervian Debating Societies were very active, and I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the debates between the two as there was a great feeling of rivalry. We also debated other schools, which made for an exciting trip out of town! Junior and senior proms were the big social events of the year. A girl’s dress had to have the approval of Miss Day, our Preceptress. On one occasion I had a red taffeta, sleeveless formal with a small ‘V’ neck in the back. She said she’d approve the dress if I added a bit of lace in the ‘V.’ Girls and boys were allowed only well-chaperoned meetings, which probably added to the fascination. On Wednesday evenings a boy could come to Dexter Richards to call if he had made a definite appointment. My recollection is that it was for only 15 minutes. There was also time on Sunday afternoons, and I believe the time limit then was half an hour. He could not call on the same girl twice in a row. Obviously this was handled by an agreed exchange of dates as we were all in the same room anyway.” — Jean Barton Cotton ’32
Bessie Fogg Cook In 1949 Bessie Fogg Cook, class of 1911, wrote at great length about her experiences as a student at KUA. The cost of a year at KUA, as she remembered “was $180 plus books and laboratory fees. Moreover, nearly all the work of preparing and serving the meals as well as the cleaning and care of the grounds was done by the students, and during my first year I earned a third of my expenses.” Dorm life had the same ups and downs as today, pranks and all. “On each floor was a large trash can, brooms and dust-pan provided for our use, and just above these there was a fire gong which was never sounded for fire that I know of, but it gave us a bright idea occasionally in the evening when the Hall was very quiet. Someone would give the gong a blow with the broom handle, which brought everyone out of their quiet study, and gave the Preceptress the task of restoring order. A similar effect was gained by a shrill scream caused by seeing a fictitious mouse jump out of the trashcan.”
Bessie’s respect and admiration for Headmaster Tracy echoed the sentiments of other students during his tenure. She wrote, “His was a quiet, serious nature. There were some persons who felt he was a very stern man. Personally I felt he was kind and understanding. His business was running a school of lively boys and girls, and fitting them both mentally and morally to take their places in the world. He knew from the letters he received from the parents how much they expected of their children in return for their sacrifices to make this education possible.” Of Mrs. Tracy, she recalled she always felt welcome at the Tracy house by a woman who reached out to the students, often inviting them for afternoon tea.
A Sense of Place The physical plant of the school increased significantly. Francis Chamberlin Hall Farm, formally known as the Davis Farm, was given in 1913 by Alfred S. Hall, class of 1869, in memory of his son Francis. Alfred Hall graduated from Dartmouth College and was a trustee at KUA for nearly 30 years. The farm enabled the Academy to raise its own food, which was especially important during the war years. Faculty and students were responsible for planting and harvesting vegetables and caring for the livestock. Cows grazed on the Potato Patch, and at milking time, baseball games or track meets stopped while the cows were brought back across the fields to the farm, much to the frustration of visiting teams. The classes of 1915 and 1916 gave the stone pillars and iron gates that still mark the road’s entrance to Powers Athletic Field.
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Bessie relished her memories of Sunday night suppers. Through the wide windows students saw the snow-clad fields sloping down and on to Ascutney, or in the spring with the windows open felt the warm breezes blowing in. While the food was plain country fare without much variation, it was well cooked and bountifully served.
Barnes Library, given in 1924 by Trustee George W. Barnes of Lyme, New Hampshire. Mr. Barnes’ fine collection of oil paintings can be seen in various places throughout the campus today.
Charles Lewis Silver Memorial Gymnasium was a gift from Henry Mann Silver, class of 1867, in memory of his brother Charles Lewis Silver, class of 1865. Henry wrote a letter to be read at the dedication in June 1914 of the gym, “During the early part of my stay in Meriden the Civil War was at its height, the military spirit filled the land, and the students would march, drill, and charge up the meeting-house hill to overcome all sorts of imaginary enemies. This exercise combined with kicking a football on the playground on top of the hill, sawing my own wood, making my bed, and taking care of my room, laid the foundation for perfect health, that has been with me ever since. . . At last the opportunity presented itself to remember in a substantial manner my oldest alma mater, Kimball Union Academy, and to erect a memorial in loving memory of my brother.” Alden Tracy Cottage was a gift from Headmaster and Mrs. Tracy in 1927 in memory of their son Charles Alden Tracy, Jr., class of 1923. He died of pneumonia in 1924 while doing post-graduate work at Phillips Andover Academy. When a new, brick infirmary was built in the 1960s and rededicated to Charles, Jr, the former Tracy Cottage became a faculty residence and later was re-connected to Rowe Hall. It had originally been part of Rowe Hall and was moved and lowered to a spot a few yards away when it became the infirmary.
Top to Bottom: Baxter Hall renovations in 1921 replaced many Queen Anne features with Colonial Revival characteristics. Alterations inside were made possible from a substantial donation from Dr. Edward K. Baxter’s widow. Albion E. Lang, a summer resident of the town, provided generously for the construction of the pool in 1929. The bowling alley in the basement of Silver Gym.
Exercising in Silver Gym.
The End of Coeducation
That same year Headmaster Tracy retired and moved to Amherst, New Hampshire, where he became active in town and church affairs. He died at age 79 and is buried in the family plot in Gleason Cemetery in Meriden. Today the Charles Alden Tracy Award is given in his honor. It is the Academy’s highest award and goes, by vote of the faculty, to the graduating senior whose character, scholarship, and citizenship best represent the ideals of the Academy.
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In 1935, KUA received a gift of $50,000 from Madge Miller, daughter of Charles Ransom Miller. Despite the generous gift, the trustees decided it was advisable to change to a school for boys only. A publication sent to the Alumni and Friends of Kimball Union Academy in 1935 assured all present girl students at the Academy, boarders or otherwise, that they could finish their course and receive a diploma. President of the Board of Trustees Arthur P. Fairfield wrote, “The Trustees feel that it is necessary to abandon the policy of co-education (except for day pupils from Meriden and vicinity) for which the school has stood so long . . . for many years we have unceasingly endeavored to remain both co-educational and self-supporting; we have not succeeded. The trends of the times are against co-education. Parents will not send their boys to a school of that sort; and if they would the boys refuse to come. The number of boarding pupils has steadily decreased (although the day pupils have increased rapidly) and with the decrease have come steadily increasing deficits. The Trustees . . . must try other ways in which to make the school self-supporting and so preserve its continuity and opportunity for service.”
William R. Brewster, class of 1914, Headmaster 1935–1952.
A Boys’ School William Brewster, class of 1914, was born on August 11, 1893, in Windsor, Vermont. When his father died, he had to take on many adult responsibilities running the family farm. Because he had to work while he studied, Brewster was older than many students when he graduated from KUA. He attended Dartmouth College but transferred to Middlebury College, class of 1918, where he found it easier to find work to support himself while at school.
Dexter Richards Hall is torn down and rebuilt out of brick.
Brewster served in the Air Force, then taught at Rollins College in Florida, before moving to the Newton Country Day School in Newton, Massachusetts, where he taught mathematics and coached football and baseball. He married Leona Wright, another Vermonter. They had two sons who graduated from Kimball Union, William ’39, and Seward ’44.
Brewster came to KUA in 1935 to serve as the Academy’s 13th headmaster and to begin a new era at a school now only for boys. He found many challenges as he guided the school through the end of co-education, the Great Depression, World War II, and rebuilding after the war. Headmaster Brewster was known by his familiar nickname, “Chief,” a term of affection.
Leona “Onie” W. Brewster.
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Now that KUA was a boys’ school, female roles were performed by the boys in Love Rides the Rails and other plays.
The undefeated, unscored upon, untied 1937 football team.
Kimball Union’s football team has an incredible season, famous for being unscored upon.
The boys and their guests prepare for skiing during Winter Carnival, 1945.
In September, the Hurricane of ’38 destroys the roof of Silver Gym.
Construction of Porter’s Cabin is completed on French’s Ledges.
Parents and guests visiting Kimball Union will never forget the wonderful hospitality of the Brewster home. We who came to school as freshmen and sophomores may remember our first few days on The Hilltop when, feeling that we were alone in the world, we were immediately cheered up by a few kind words from Mrs. Brewster. —The Kimball Union, December 12, 1951
Chief was Kimball Union Academy. All the simple virtues were in his admonitions—honesty, integrity, hard work, fair play, discipline. It didn’t matter that you weren’t much of a scholar or an athlete—it did matter what kind of a boy you were. If there was a spark of something there, he would draw it out for you to examine and think about. How many would realize in later years how well he knew us then. — Wilfred Kurth II, class of 1950
1945 Fathers form a Dads’ Council to assist the school.
1952 Headmaster Brewster retires.
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“What opportunity for the secondary education will the girls of New Hampshire have in the future? This question arises with the change which Kimball Union is making from the policy of coeducation to that of a boys’ school. . . . As New Hampshire provides no other school for girls, but has a number of boys’ schools, will one of these open its doors to girls, or will some enterprising person establish a secondary school for girls only?” — John F. Glick ’35, editor of the school newspaper, The Hilltop
A New Era Following the decision to end coeducation at KUA, girls from Cornish and Plainfield and those who had partially completed their courses were able to attend and receive their diplomas. The last girl to graduate was Elizabeth Chapman of Plainfield, New Hampshire. She may have finished a post-graduate year as she is listed with her photograph as the secretary of the senior class in the 1939 yearbook, and then appears as a senior again in the 1940 yearbook. A few other girls, daughters of faculty members, were listed in the Alumni Directories as being in the class of 1945 (Mary Moulton) and 1950 (Polly Adams), but they are not listed in the yearbooks. Daughters of faculty members after 1950 either attended local high schools or were sent to schools such as St. Mary’s in the Mountains (The White Mountain School), Gould Academy, or Northampton School for Girls (Williston Northampton). The Great Depression brought many of the same hardships to KUA as to the rest of the country. Hall Farm proved to be a great resource for food as well as an educational tool for students. The farm consisted of a “house, and barn, joined by a woodshed, a milk house, a silo, a manure house, a hog house, a shed, two hen houses, and a piggery at some distance from the main buildings.” Cattle grazed on the Potato Patch and were housed in the barn. Students, some with no experience at all, helped on the farm.
Top to Bottom: For three days after the Hurricane of ’38, faculty and students worked together to help replace fallen electric poles, haul brush, chop up trees, and clean up the huge pile of brick and slate in the gym. Many of the boys also helped the residents of Meriden restore their property. Ray Cutts (fourth from left) and Assistant Headmaster Babcock (second from right) with student “farm boys,” 1941–42. Brewster and his son Pat ’44 (front right and left) dig potatoes in 1947.
Left to Right: Selby J. Day ’41, was decorated five times. Major Edward J. Gignac ’38 was awarded the Silver Star, Air Medal with Three Oak Clusters, and the Purple Heart. He was killed over France on June 7, 1944.
World War II Many students of the Academy gave their lives serving their country in World War II. One of them was Major Edward J. Gignac, class of 1938, from Lebanon, New Hampshire. While at KUA he played on the 1937 football team, was an award-winning member of the ski team, and played baseball. His daredevil exploits were famous, and included flying his plane low over Main St. and “buzzing” the KUA hill while home on leave. He was a national ski jumper at Middlebury College, claiming the Lake Placid Ski Meister Trophy for “all-around skiing prowess.” A football award “for outstanding determination and spirit” was initiated at KUA in his honor in 1951 and given for many years.
As headmasters had in other wars, Brewster received letters from grieving parents and classmates. On September 18, 1944, Selby Day’s (class of 1941) mother wrote to Brewster to say that her son had died in the war. “Selby had a deep respect for you and when he arrived home one of the first things he looked for was the Kimball Union Alumni Bulletin. I had saved them all for him. He spoke about you and Kimball Union so often and planned if he ever had a son to send him to your school.”
The class of 1944 dedicated their yearbook to the school’s war effort. “To the headmaster, faculty, office staff, kitchen staff, farmers, and all other employees of Kimball Union who have worked beyond the call of duty to meet the war-time problems, we the Senior Class hereby dedicate this Concordia.”
In February 1943 the Academy became partly a Naval Flight School for aviation cadets. Bryant Hall was their barracks. The cadets’ course of study included flying, ground school, and naval indoctrination. At the end of the day they assembled by the side of Dexter Richards to observe retreat, often watched by some of the students.
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During the war years, a group of boys who called themselves the Commandos voluntarily worked around the campus. As many as 85 participated at different times with 32 boys going so far as to give up their spring sports. Their duties included painting, caring for the lawns and flowerbeds, shingling, clapboarding, working on the golf course, planting trees, and working at the farm. The 1942 Concordia offers this uplifting thought: “We will again be a great nation of men when all capture the spirit of the Commandos and cease to feel that everything we do must have monetary rewards.”
Winter Carnival snow sculpture competition.
The formal Saturday night dance in Silver Gym during Winter Carnival, 1950.
The Jazz Band performing in 1942.
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The late 1930s and early 1940s saw the number and variety of extracurricular opportunities on campus expand dramatically. Many of these activities still exist today. Orange Key was initiated in 1938 by a group of students whose “purpose . . . is to make the students more self-reliant by allowing them more personal freedom.” Student Councils and Orange Key worked with the administration “as an intermediary between the students and faculty” in seeking solutions to students’ needs, both socially and within the rules of the Academy. A Dance Committee was formed in 1938 whose job was “planning decorations, arranging for an orchestra, and seeing that the lady guests were provided for.” During Winter Carnival, girls from other schools or friends from home were invited to KUA for the weekend. They were usually housed in Bryant or Dexter Richards while the boys moved into another dorm for the weekend. The wives of the faculty chaperoned in the dorm and at all campus events, which included the formal dance. Once in, there was no going out until the dance was over, and then the girls were chaperoned back to their dorm. For other dances, KUA would host a sister school and the girls would be brought to KUA or the boys would travel to their school.
Students and faculty joined the church choir at the Meriden Congregational Church in part because they all had to attend church every Sunday. In 1938, the students formed a band that played and marched during the football season for the “morale of the team” and to “arouse school spirit.” The next year, under the direction of Mr. Law, the band grew to 25 members and also played at Winter Carnival and other dances. They played everything from classical to waltzes to marches. There was a a small orchestra and a large Glee Club, which travelled to venues in the Upper Valley and to other schools for combined concerts. Later they were known as the “Kimball Union Singers” and in 1952 a small group was formed called “The Eight.” The Outing Club continued to sponser hiking and woodsmen’s activities. In 1951 a Woodsmen’s Team competed with other schools including Dartmouth and Middlebury. Events included felling and twitching, crosscut sawing, pulpwood throwing, bucksawing, splitting, chopping, fire building, and canoe races. The Outing Club helped build and maintain the various campus ski facilities, including ski jumps.
Bill Robes ’35 with students in the Outing Club cabin.
Porter Cabin was built by the Outing Club from 1939 to 1943 at the top of French’s ledges. Wayland Porter is on the right.
Love Rides the Rails, 1947.
Leona Brewster In addition to her commitment to the many duties of a headmaster’s wife that have been traditional over the years, Onie Brewster had an opportunity to teach remedial reading to students and serve as head librarian at KUA. She made the boys feel welcome from the moment they arrived until they graduated.
The Foreign Policy Association began in 1940 to bring students and faculty together to discuss world affairs. The Photography Club, started by Wayland Porter in 1941, became the Camera Club in 1951. The Bowling Club was reinstated in 1940 when the boys cleared out the skis stored in the old bowling alley in Silver Gym. They bowled on rainy days and Sundays and with the girls when they visited for dances.
Onie had a special knack for involving the teachers’ wives in the life of the school at a time when most women stayed at home. With the help of the wives, Onie hosted innumerable receptions for trustees, parents, and visiting alumni, as well as the formal “teas” held for both the home and visiting teams after each sporting event. Raising two sons in a boys’ private school, where every meal was formal and her home in Rowe House was the center of hospitality, took an unusual person.
One group of students created the oddly named Flora Dora Society in 1940. It began as a pick-up basketball team that played other similar teams and called themselves the Flora Dora Hoopsters. The highlight of the season was a game versus the faculty. They “bowed to the professors by two baskets.” Members looked forward to a baseball rematch on the diamond in the spring. One Saturday evening they became the Flora Dora Kit-Kats Swing Band and performed at a dance.
When her husband became a founding member of Cardigan Mountain School in 1946 she was there to help him, as she was in running Birch Rock Camp in Waterford, Maine. Many boys followed the Brewsters to KUA in the fall or in future years after a summer with them in Maine. The meaningful words on the plaque at her gravesite at Birch Rock Camp sum up Onie’s life: “With firmness and grace she encouraged us all to reach for our best.”
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There was a Debating Club, and 1938 saw “a revival of the old Philadelphian Society for the purpose of group discussion concerning the various religious problems that are confronting the world today.” The Radio Club was formed to teach the boys about radio. They learned Morse Code and made plans to build transceivers to time ski races at the downhill trail and to talk from the Outing Club cabin to the school.
Athletics The 1937 football team was undefeated, untied, and unscored upon, with a total record of 220 points to 0. They beat the Dartmouth and Harvard “B” teams and the Middlebury freshman team. During the winter of 1938, KUA’s undefeated ski team was the Eastern Preparatory Champion. Ira Townsend ’38, a member of the faculty from 1945 to 1985, was on this team with Eddie Gignac ’38 and other World War II servicemen. The team won the Easterns again in 1952 and 1953. Alpine, Nordic, and jumping had long been a vital part of KUA’s winter athletics. The 1951 basketball team won the New England Class “B” Preparatory School Championship played in Boston Garden. The championship game was a true classic. “Typical of the fighting spirit of the Meridenmen, with 67 seconds left in the game and being 7 points behind, gave out with a once-in-a-lifetime rally to tie up the game at the final buzzer. In the overtime Huntington’s pepper gave out, and it bowed out by a tight 3 point deficit.” Interscholastic hockey began in 1935 on Chellis Pond. The rink was moved to the top of the hill behind the heating plant, and then to the field at the back of Chellis Hall. The job of making ice belonged to the coaches, who would spend their winter evenings flooding the rink with water sprayed from a hand-held hose. Coach Akerstrom told of a pipe from the heating plant going right through the blue line, causing soft ice that was sometimes advantageous to the home team who knew it was there. Spring sports in 1938 included baseball, track, tennis, golf, and lacrosse. The boys organized the golf team and constructed their own six-hole course. They played their matches at Carter Country Club in Lebanon, New Hampshire. For several years, KUA had its own fencing team coached by Gaston Hamory and then Parker Jones ’37. Ski jumping off Route 120, circa 1940.
A Sense of Place In 1935 the trustees decided to rebuild Dexter Richards Hall entirely of brick. The old wood building was a fire hazard and also needed refurbishments. The new brick building was ready by the fall of 1936.
Kilton House was bought in the summer of 1938.
A number of homes were purchased during this time for use as housing for students and faculty. One of these was Cann House, situated on the site of the present Miller Bicentennial Hall, which had been owned by Cyrus Smith Richards and his wife Helen while he was principal at KUA. It was named for John Cann, the owner at the time KUA purchased the building. Another was Barton House, owned by the Barton family. Acquired in 1940, it was removed in 1964 to make way for the entrance to the new Fitch Science Hall. Others included Kilton House, Chellis Hall, and Welch House.
The Parents’ Guest House was purchased in 1946 by members of the Dads’ Council who wanted to be able to accommodate visitors to the Academy. The Mothers’ Council held annual rummage sales in Silver Gym to raise funds to furnish the Guest House. In 1969, the name was changed to Brewster House in honor of Chief and Onie Brewster. John Pope ’49 purchased the house in 2004 and in 2009 gave it back to KUA after a significant renovation restored it to what is now known as Dad’s House. Chellis Hall was purchased in 1938 for faculty housing and entirely remodeled with a sizeable addition. The original ell of Chellis Hall was the Mehuman Baker House pictured on Dr. Frost’s map of Meriden in 1808.
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In 1941 a group of parents raised money to build the Memorial Field House on Powers Field to provide athletic teams with access to locker room facilities. The building was removed in 2007 during construction of KUA’s main playing fields.
Faculty The many tributes to Headmaster Brewster from longtime faculty and students tell his and KUA’s story best.
“When I arrived in Meriden he greeted me with the statement ‘I hope you are not George Akerstrom, Athletic Director, geography afraid of hard work.’ I assured him that I teacher, and varsity coach for football, hockey and wasn’t . . . Chief was a real straw boss. He lacrosse, 1943–1978. was usually the first in the cow barn and the last out. He ‘eyed’ more potatoes than most of us when we were getting ready for the spring planting . . . Chief was selfless and completely dedicated to boys and Kimball Union . . . He was always for good, clean, hard play and said that he would like for KUA teams to be ‘rough, tough gentlemen.’”
Hockey on Chellis Pond, 1940s. During Thanksgiving break in 1935, Headmaster Brewster and Wayland Porter made the hockey boards out of wood taken from Dexter Richards Hall as it was being torn down.
“He had the philosophy that the best way to work for boys was to work with boys and my experiences with him showed that he had the same philosophy in his association with the faculty.” — Wayland R. Porter, faculty 1935–1965
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— George Akerstrom, faculty 1943–1978 “When I arrived, Chief took me aside and told me that I would be living in the Kilton Hall in the back apartment and, as a senior, I would be setting an example for the underclassmen with whom I would be living. He challenged me. He inspired me. . . . At Dartmouth, the U.S. Navy, and later in my business life, I have always felt that my KUA experience was the catalyst for my entire life.” — Allen Howland, class of 1940 Wayland Porter, math and physics teacher, Radio Club, Advisor to the Outing Club, 1935–1965.
Brewster Retires “A man of enormous energy and inexhaustible vitality, he was devoted to the strenuous life and could not endure that others retire in the midst of the fray. We washed, painted, and scrubbed windows, walls, and floors; we drove tractors, power mowers, station wagons, trucks, and busses; we planted flowers and dug potatoes, and forked manure; and there were none of these chores that Chief couldn’t do better than the best of us.”
Ill health forced Brewster to retire in January 1952. In the years to come he continued to serve the Academy as a Field Representative and Headmaster’s Advisee, until fully retiring in 1964. On February 7, 1969, the board voted to change his status to Headmaster Emeritus. The Headmaster’s Commencement Prize, begun in 1942, is awarded to the member of the senior class who has “shown the most courage and persistent effort.” The class of 1952 gave a plaque for continuation of this award, hereafter to be known as “The Brewster Award,” later known as the Brewster Cup.
— M. Lionel Mosher, faculty 1948–1970
Ira Townsend ’38, treasurer, varsity ski coach, Outing Club Director, 1945–1985.
— Ira P. Townsend, class of 1938, faculty 1945–1985
Headmaster Brewster passed away in 1973 and Onie Brewster in 1982. They are buried at Birch Rock Camp in Waterford, Maine, where two granite boulders each display a plaque as testimonial to their lives.
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“If there was work to be done, he was always ready to do it— and he expected the same from employees as well as students. No job was too great—haying, digging potatoes, cutting corn, cleaning stables, grading eggs, raking leaves, etc. It was Chief ’s inspiration, help, and encouragement that got so much work out of the KUA family.”
Frederick E. Carver, faculty 1936–1969, Headmaster 1952–1969.
The Miller Bequest Frederick Eugene Carver was known by the Kimball Union community as “Coach,” a term of respect and admiration. He was considered a gentleman of the old school and a humble and hard-working man. After working at KUA as a teacher, coach, and administrator for 16 years, Carver served as Kimball Union’s 14th headmaster.
Carver attended the local schools in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He was president of his senior class and won the Ryan Cup for “being the best athlete in the school, combined with character and scholastic standing.” He received the Wheelwright Scholarship, awarded to Newburyport students who planned to study the sciences and, like his older brother Norman, Carver chose Dartmouth College. He graduated in the class of 1927, MA 1938, H. D.Ed. 1961, Norwich University. Before arriving at KUA, Carver taught mathematics at nearby Lebanon High School, where he also coached football, basketball, and baseball. After several years as assistant principal there, he and his new wife, Jessie Graham, a native of Lebanon, were lured to KUA in 1936 through the efforts of Trustee Alfred J. Densmore ’04, owner of Densmore Brick Company in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
63 | 1952–1969 The Miller Bequest
Alumni Gym is completed the same year that both soccer and football teams are undefeated.
The Carver family at commencement in 1961. Fred and Jessie with Dave ’57, Doug ’61, Jane, and Jim ’56
Teahouse of the August Moon, performed in Alumni Gym, 1965.
A typical dorm room, 1950s.
A bequest from the Charles Ransom Miller Estate is received, at the time the largest gift in KUA’s history.
Riding up the poma lift, with the A-frame in the background.
Monroe House was built in 1857.
The first ski meet is held at the Ira P. Townsend Ski Area below Porter’s Cabin on French’s Ledges.
Miller Student Center is completed.
Coach Carver had the rare ability on the field and in the classroom to bring out a desire in young people to give more of themselves and to strive for more than they believed themselves capable of doing.
1963 Kimball Union Academy celebrates its sesquicentennial. Nearly 1,000 people attend convocation in Meriden.
Led by co-captains Derek Van Etten ’55 and Allan Munro ’55 (numbers 40 and 41), the 1954–55 varsity soccer team posted KUA soccer’s first undefeated season.
1969 Monroe House is bought, to be used as the headmaster’s home.
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65 | 1952–1969 The Miller Bequest
Private schools were experiencing difficult times in the early fifties, and KUA was no different. Total enrollment was 94 students in 1952, but the next year the number increased to 118 and in 1954 the school opened with 142 students. Each year continued to see a steady increase of students. In 1957, Kimball Union received a bequest of $1 million. This generous gift came through the efforts of Madge Miller, who had previously left $50,000 to the Academy in 1935, and her brother Hoyt Miller. Their father, Charles Ransom Miller, had attended KUA in the 1860s. The Kimball Union November 1957 issue told the story of Charles and his wife Frances, class of 1869, and his rise from a Hanover, New Hampshire, farm boy to editor of The New York Times. The Miller bequest was the largest gift ever received by KUA and made possible the beginning of a long-range building plan that would transform the school.
Miller Student Center—now Miller Bicentennial Hall—the new Tracy Cottage, and Densmore Hall were all a result of the Miller bequest. Miller Student Center transformed KUA, providing new classrooms and meeting rooms, a modern dining room, expanded administration offices, and two lounges for receptions and teas.
Jessie Carver English Beginning with Hannah Kimball, the wives of the headmasters were held in high esteem by the Kimball Union community for the sometimes-daunting supportive role each had taken on with enthusiasm and dedication. For Jessie Carver, this called for acting as chief hostess, taking on a female role in a play, attending games and concerts at home and away, representing KUA at funerals and weddings, and countless other obligations In the war years, Jessie might have been found along with other wives cleaning the dorm rooms for the opening of school, feeding the chickens, or picking potatoes. The Carvers bought a station wagon so that the school would have a second vehicle to transport the teams. She sometimes had to “stand in line” to use it herself. Yet she always refers to her years at KUA as “their Camelot.”
The grand march at a Winter Carnival formal dance.
Top to Bottom: While chaperoning a dance in the DR dining hall, Jessie Carver enjoys a game of cards with Wayland and Bertha Porter. The Porters came to KUA in 1935, retiring in 1965. Students enjoy coffee at the headmaster’s home. The women of KUA on a lunch excursion.
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She provided a coffee hour in her Rowe House home for the teachers during their morning break, and after formal meals. In the 1960s the senior boys were invited to attend the evening coffee hours to enjoy more adult time with the faculty. Often on Sunday afternoons, some of the boys would stay behind to watch the Giants’ football games on the Carver’s black and white television.
Musical groups were in full swing in the 1950s and included a marching band.
English and music teacher Jim Ingerson is seen here with The Kimball Union newspaper staff in the 1960s. “The Eight” with Steve Plummer, 1953–54.
The Kimball Union Glee Club, 1963–1964.
Beyond the Classroom
67 | 1952–1969 The Miller Bequest
While the 1950s were a time of revitalization and growth, many of KUA’s traditions remained firmly in place. As before, plays were put on in various venues: Silver Gym and then Alumni Gym, Meriden Town Hall, and Baxter Hall Auditorium. In 1954 music instructor Steve Plummer ’45 led four musical groups at KUA: a school band, the Congregational Church choir, the Glee Club of at least 40 boys, and a double quartet later known as “the Eight.”
The Student Council made an appeal to the faculty in the fall of 1960 that they “with luck, hope to conceive and execute a plan to make it possible for students to either possess or have access to a radio.” Treasurer Ira Townsend obliged by installing radios in all the dormitory lounges.
The traditional Winter Carnival Weekend continued to be a highly anticipated event each year, with visiting girls from the boys’ hometowns arriving at KUA on Friday. Entertainment included teas, athletic events for the teams, and a formal dance held in Silver Gym or the dining hall. A queen and her court were chosen at the dance by the faculty.
The arts began to be introduced into the curriculum. In 1963, William Judson ’56 taught an art history course on the painting, sculpture, and architecture of the Western World, while Patricia Musick guided students toward an equal appreciation of the works of old masters and the abstract works of contemporaries such as Jackson Pollack. This course gave the students a chance to work in diversified media and appreciate more fully the works of famous artists.
The sixties brought an awareness of the historic changes taking place around the country and a great interest in national events. History teachers and the administration recognized the educational potential of television and made it possible for senior history students to see the first historic televised debate between the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees.
At the end of 1964 a few students became more open to questioning authority in their newspaper editorials, asking for and commenting on things like late lights and class schedule. They hoped for change by introducing a proctor system. Orange Key was revived and in October 1966 the Student Council planned to open the snack bar and senior cabin, and provide refreshments at Saturday night movies.
Sesquicentennial The sesquicentennial in 1963 celebrated 150 years since the signing of the Academy charter on June 16, 1813.
Bryant Hall snow sculpture, Winter Carnival, 1955.
Saturday night entertainment usually meant a movie shown in Baxter Hall and in later years in Silver Gym. In the days before videos and DVDs, a student was in charge of loading and changing the three reels that contained the movie. Quite often it would break in mid-reel and the student in charge would have to splice it together with much cheering from the audience.
The Carvers with Harrison Salisbury during the reception following the Sesquicentennial Convocation.
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A sign of changing technology was KUA’s acquisition of a teletype lead, located in the bottom of Fitch, to the Dartmouth computer. Frank Egan was teaching a small group the basics of computer programming. By 1967 there was a Computer Club and it was reported that in 1968 dates were matched on a computer for a dance with St. Mary’s of the Mountain School for Girls.
Nearly 1,000 guests attended convocation in Meriden on a gusty, rainy day. “So uncooperative were the elements, it was questionable whether the main speaker, Mr. Harrison Salisbury, Director of National Correspondence for The New York Times, could appear. School vehicles were pressed into a shuttle service to keep the visitors dry. Mr. Salisbury’s private plane arrived with a few minutes to spare and the Academic Procession formed on schedule. Speeches were inspiring—four new buildings were dedicated—delegates from many schools and colleges were resplendent in their academic robes—the Convocation was a success. In the new Duncan Hockey Rink, with true pioneer New England spirit, guests sat down to enjoy a rather damp, breezy, but delicious luncheon. [The newly covered rink had no ends to it and the wind howled through on that cold and rainy day.] This historic day brought together, for all those in attendance, an illustrious past with an exciting blueprint for an even brighter and more substantial future for Kimball Union Academy.”
Athletics A sound mind in a sound body, as the plaque in Silver Gym attests, was an institutional value at KUA. By 1959, KUA offered football and soccer in the fall. The winter season featured basketball, a swim team then in its fourth year, hockey, and ski teams. In the spring, there was baseball, lacrosse, track, and tennis. The 1954–55 varsity soccer team had KUA’s first-ever undefeated soccer season, led by co-captains Derek Van Etten ’55 and Allan Munro ’55. The undefeated season came down to two overtimes in a tie game against Tilton. With time running out, Munro passed to season high scorer Kichang Cheung ’56, who scored in the last minute. The following year resulted in an impressive 17-0 record. Dave Carver ’57, who with Tom Howe ’57 was captain the next year, came back to work at KUA in 1962 and coached his own undefeated soccer team in 1968.
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KUA hosted its own Woodsmen’s Weekend in 1959. The woodsmen’s team competed in three events with the Dartmouth Outing Club and other colleges.
There was always great excitement at the annual KUA–Vermont Academy football game, the third-oldest football rivalry in prep school history. George Akerstrom and Grubby Douglass continued to coach, respectively, varsity and JV teams. Akerstrom took over as the varsity football head coach in the fall of 1953 and continued as varsity head coach of hockey and lacrosse. He had many successful teams, including his first undefeated hockey team in the winter of 1955–56. Many of his players went on to play college hockey at Brown, Dartmouth, Middlebury, Bowdoin, Boston University, Boston College, Tufts, Harvard, and Princeton. Baseball was still the most popular spring sport for boys. Bob Shaw ’51, went on to play in the major league and pitched for the White Sox in the 1959 World Series, beating Sandy Koufax 1-0.
“I picture George Akerstrom and his trusty crew out in the cold behind DR flooding the hockey rink. This was best done of course when it was coldest and of course it’s coldest when it’s dark . . . the colder it was, the happier they all were.” Clearing the ice before the roof was added.
— Erich Schmitt ’47
Duncan Rink circa 1963.
Duncan Hockey Rink The Duncan Family has had a long association with the Academy. The family home, built in the early nineteenth century by Samuel B. Duncan, Miss Annie Duncan’s grandfather, is located behind Dexter Richards Hall and is now owned by the Academy. Samuel Duncan was the school treasurer and a trustee from 1831 to 1870, followed by his son John, class of 1851, from 1870 to 1902. Samuel’s sister Ruth Ticknor Duncan was an early graduate of KUA, class of 1819, and his three sons had also attended. His nephew Harry was a trustee from 1911 to 1917.
Because of this history and having been a neighbor of the Academy for many years, Annie Duncan bequeathed Kimball Union $68,000 in 1962. The gift was used to cover the outdoor rink located behind Chellis Hall with a much-needed quonsetstyle metal roof. Duncan Rink became known as the coldest rink in the East because it had no lower sides or ends, although eventually, the bottom of the sides and the ends were closed in and heated locker rooms were added.
Henry “Grubby” Douglass (top, right) on the bench for an alumni game in Duncan Rink, with George Akerstrom, below.
As lacrosse grew in popularity, some KUA players went on to play in college. Jim Carver ’56 and Louis Munro ’56 played together at Middlebury College and competed against Louis’ brother Allan Munro ’55, who was at Dartmouth College.
Football on Hall Farm Field, 1954. The following year the team had its first undefeated season since the fall of 1937.
The new gym was built directly over Lang Pool. This meant that swimming could be added as a competitive sport in the winter and the pool could be used for recreational activity throughout the year.
A Sense of Place
71 | 1952–1969 The Miller Bequest
There were many changes and additions to the buildings and grounds of KUA during these years, including new athletic facilities and housing for both students and faculty. A 10-year plan for the campus began in 1959. Its fulfillment meant that the Academy could comfortably house and educate 200 boys. At the time there were only a handful of day students. After many years of fundraising and construction, Alumni Gym was finally completed in February 1955. A stage at one end provided a large space for theatre productions and for other events such as Commencement exercises. The first play to be performed there was Arms and the Man, presented at Dads’ Weekend in February 1955. Before the chairs were set up, a large canvas was laid down to protect the basketball floor. The curtain was a gift from the KUA Mothers’ Council, paid for with receipts from the annual rummage sale in the fall of 1954. In 1960, KUA bought Rogers House (circa 1790) from the Rogers family. Located directly across Route 120 from the Baptist Church, it was used as faculty housing and later as a dormitory for post-graduate students. KUA sold the building back into private use in the early 1990s. Penniman House (circa 1812) was bought from Fred Penniman’s heirs in the early 1960s for faculty housing. Frost House, next to the
Baptist Church, was bought in 1963 to use as faculty housing and later as a small dormitory. It had been built in 1808 and bought by Dr. Frost, who had served as doctor to Daniel and Hannah Kimball. Densmore Hall was dedicated to Alfred J. Densmore, class of 1904 and president of the board of trustees, for his devotion and service to Kimball Union. The four-story brick dormitory was completed in the fall of 1964. The building included rooms for 39 boys, four faculty apartments, and a lounge. Fitch Science Hall was built in 1965, near the site of Barton House, a small dormitory. Named for former trustee and school physician Dr. Emery Fitch, class of 1899, and his widow Marietta, who gave for its construction, it was a significant improvement over the old rooms in Baxter. It had separate labs and classrooms, office space for teachers, and a small science library. An auditorium was built into the hillside and later named Hayes Auditorium for Joseph D. Hayes III, class of 1967. Monroe House was purchased in 1969 to be used as the headmaster’s home. Today it is known by the same name but with the spelling changed to Munro in honor of Allan Munro ’55, a life-long supporter of KUA, former board chair, and past and current parent.
Townsend Ski Hill Skiing remained an important part of KUA life. Ira Townsend ’38, Parker Jones ’37, and others coached some very successful teams over the years, including the 1955–56 Eastern Prep School Champions. After faculty and students spent several years building the ski hill below Porter’s Cabin on French’s Ledges beginning in 1948, at last Townsend’s dream of a proper ski facility for KUA was realized in 1959–60 when the first ski meet was held there. In April 1961, they had what he described as the best 40-meter training jump in the East. By November, a cross-country ski trail had been added and Townsend planned to hold all meets on the ski hill. They eventually had two jumps, a poma lift (bought from Mt. Whittier Ski Area), and an A-frame lodge at the bottom of the ski hill. Competitions, including the Junior Nordic Championships in 1962–63, were held on the KUA hill until the lift broke in 1973. It proved too costly to repair. This, combined with rising insurance costs and the difficulty of off-season maintenance, led to the decision to move KUA’s downhill training to Whaleback and Ascutney.
The school store in Dexter Richards Hall in the 1950s.
Alden Tracy Cottage.
Fitch Science Hall, 1965.
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The Legacy of 150 Years
As I write these words of greeting to Kimball Union alumni, the New Hampshire hills are beautiful—just as they must have been that fall when the founding fathers opened the academy doors in 1813. What member of the alumni body doesn’t remember the magnificence of the Meriden hills that first fall at KUA! I was daydreaming about the past the other day, as I stood on the new ski slope below Porter Cabin looking out over the town and the school. The deep blue sky set off the colors of the surrounding hills and mountains. There is no better view in the area. I thought about the hardy settlers who came up the river to live in Meriden and those determined men who founded Kimball Union so that the poor boy, as well as those who could pay, could better himself with an education.
The sun, setting behind Porter Cabin, reminded me that reminiscing must wait for alumni gatherings. There are problems waiting to be solved today and plans to be made for the future. So we slipped and skidded down the hill to jeep back to The Hilltop. It was fun, for a few minutes, to daydream of the past. — Headmaster Carver
“Coach” Carver died on June 29, 1969, just after his retirement from a life’s commitment to the young people of Kimball Union. He was laid to rest in Mill Cemetery on the hillside above the Kimballs, Richards, Bryants, and Duncans.
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My thoughts turned back to 1936, when Mrs. Carver and I first came to Meriden . . . We were new to boarding school life and we tried not to see everything that transpired on that top floor, but I would have been remiss indeed if I hadn’t called the attention of some of the residents to a few misdemeanors. Who will forget Eddie Gignac crawling on the ledge of the building three stories high, from one window to another?
John Pierce Cotton, Headmaster 1969–1974.
Changing Times John Pierce Cotton came to KUA just eight years after graduating from Harvard University with a degree in European History. He had served in the United States Navy on a recovery ship for the early Mercury flights, rescuing chimpanzee astronauts from the water, then taught at Colorado Academy in Englewood, Colorado. He became Senior Master of the Upper School and earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Colorado.
When Cotton applied for the position of headmaster at KUA, his father, Dana M. Cotton, was Director of Placement for the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. The elder Cotton was a well-known and influential man in the prep school world and considered an advisor and confidant of headmasters throughout New England. It has been suggested by some that John “gained much of his insight and enthusiasm for education through osmosis during his younger years.” The trustees were impressed with the younger Cotton’s own credentials and appointed him KUA’s 15th headmaster.
Headmaster Carver retires and passes away.
Cotton arrived with his wife Deborah and their four children in the fall of 1968. The following summer, the Cottons moved into the newly purchased headmaster’s home, Monroe House.
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The Cotton family, from left to right, John with Nathaniel, Sarah, Deborah with Ethan, and John, Jr.
Dan Bean ’73 scores the winning goal against New Hampton School in 1971.
French teacher Kenneth Cook, 1955–1982, in the early language lab.
Headmaster Cotton closes KUA early because of unrest on campus.
Harry Robinson ’74 goes into free-fall for the photographer before the football game.
KUA puts on 20 plays during the school year.
In some ways we’re a 1970 school, and in others we may be a 1950 school— you can’t be a 1950 school in these days . . . We’ve got to find out where we’re going, and how we got where we are.
Education is primarily self-education; it is growth— intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual. We seek to challenge and to train the capacities of each student with a stimulating faculty, student body, and environment. — faculty school philosophy, summer 1970
Albert Bryant, KUA and Birch Rock Camp’s beloved head chef from 1935 to 1974. Bryant came with the Brewsters from the Newton County Day School.
— John Cotton, Valley News, 1970
Jeff Cutts ’73, P’08, H’08, former board chair and current trustee, performs in a play while a student at KUA.
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A typical winter scene in 1974. Second from the right is David Pond ’64, a teacher at the time and currently a trustee.
A Divided Campus
77 | 1969–1974 Changing Times
As Cotton took office, college students and young people across the country were rebelling against authority and society in general. Many were actively protesting the war in Vietnam. Some young people wanted something different from the orderly lives their parents had worked hard to attain. Theirs was a different world from that of their parents, who may have sought this security for their families after growing up in the Depression Era and living through World War II and the Korean War. Some of KUA’s younger faculty had attended college in the sixties, and held differing views on how a school should operate from those of the older faculty more steeped in the ways of the past. Some faculty had the ability to lean both ways, to “form a bridge between the extremes.” They agreed that changes should and could be made, but that it should proceed rationally and not just for the sake of change. Kimball Union was not alone as an academic center faced with these challenges to the old order. It was into this mix that John Cotton arrived at KUA. But instead of a gradual transition, Cotton had to assume full responsibility when Carver was stricken with cancer in February 1969. Change was in the air as Cotton began to make his own way at KUA. The Academy had been governed for more than 150 years by a traditional code of behavior and academic responsibility. Feelings that the school was behind the times had grown stronger as KUA entered the tumult of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
“How did Cotton navigate between some rebellious students and his more conservative—but experienced and hardworking—faculty, many of whom were not prepared for what was happening at KUA and in the country?”
Catherine and Parker Jones.
Robert “Stretch” Gillam worked in the dining hall and in athletics. He coached many successful basketball and baseball teams from 1956 to 1973.
Henry “Grubby” Douglass (1937–1972) receives a gift from Cotton at the retirement party for him and his wife Barbara.
Freedom in print was very much alive in The Kimball Union. There are the usual articles on athletics, dances, and school events, with positive editorials that expressed the writers’ hope that everyone would do their part to make KUA a great place to be. However, most issues also published pointed articles expressing a desire for more freedom to choose what the students could and couldn’t do on campus, especially in the dormitories. Students wanted more options in academic subjects and more opportunities to express themselves with afternoon activities other than athletics. There were even articles about the use of drugs, both for and against recreational use on campus.
A few faculty members attended the moratorium in Washington D.C. Some of the students supported them, but they were criticized by their colleagues for “abandoning their classroom responsibilities.” Many of the events in the world were affecting high school students throughout the country: the My-Lai Massacre, the decision to bomb Cambodia, and, nearer home, students killed at Kent State University by National Guardsmen and the introduction of a draft lottery.
How did the faculty cope with this period of upheaval? Many of the more traditional faculty continued to adhere to their value system, “perhaps believing that things would eventually return to a saner state.”
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Feelings about the war in Vietnam were strong and divisive, reflecting what was happening on campuses across the country. Some students and faculty observed the first National Moratorium on the Vietnam War, wearing black armbands and discussing the war. At the next moratorium that occurred over four days, there was fasting and other activities. A committee of students and faculty brought a guest speaker to campus to speak about the war. The moratorium ended with a candlelight vigil on the church green, during which they observed a short meditation period.
The Academy Closes Its Doors Early
79 | 1969â€“1974 Changing Times
All of the turmoil was felt just as strongly by Headmaster Cotton as by everyone else. He was a compassionate man, himself deeply affected by the Kent State Massacre. Managing the national and school unrest was an uphill road for Cotton that year. Still new to the job, like many headmasters he struggled to find a solution to the unrest and upheaval on campus. The disharmony was so disruptive that Cotton closed the school early and sent the students home without exams or commencement. He felt that the faculty and students needed to consider how they wanted the Academy to proceed in the future. Some parents protested and insisted that a graduation ceremony be held. The seniors were called back and as many as could make it were handed a diploma at a service held in the Congregational Church. Some of the older, more established teachers were devastated by the turn of events, as were many of the students. Steve Bishop believed that â€œthere were many who would have continued to wear coats and ties if told to do so; I supported changes in curriculum but not in basic ethics and morals.â€? The alumni were not pleased with the school closing early either.
But what followed was that students and faculty assembled on The Hilltop during the summer, using the time to discuss ways that positive changes could be made for the Academy in order to survive the unrest in the changing times. After the early closing, many seniors returned to campus for graduation at the Meriden Congregational Church.
Summer 1970 Three questions were addressed during the summer of 1970: “What went wrong this year? How can what was wrong be corrected? What kind of school do you think Kimball Union should be?” The faculty discovered that political beliefs and lifestyles were irrelevant when it came to discussing what they all wanted for the students and the Academy. The students who stayed on campus to assist in the school’s self-evaluation addressed the issues dividing the school with maturity and respect, outlining some of the changes they felt needed to be adopted. The result was that each group developed a school philosophy and educational objectives that found much common ground.
— faculty school philosophy “Our school should be an institution which utilizes inquiry into the academic disciplines of the humanities, science, and social science; with the end product to be realized as the betterment of all society . . .” — student school philosophy
Many of the academic and social objectives espoused in those turbulent years still exist in some form 40 years later. They included developing a more outward-looking curriculum, elective courses, and a more elaborate comment system for academic performance, as well as adding college and guidance counselors to the staff and student leadership positions. Formal study hall was replaced by quiet hours in the dormitories from 8 to 10 pm. Building a school community relevant to society in general with an atmosphere of individual responsibility and respect for others has always been among KUA’s highest priorities, as is offering opportunities for service to the larger community. In response to student requests for coeducation, the faculty “recommended that the trustees appoint a committee composed of students, faculty, and trustees to look into the possibilities, the advantages, and the drawbacks.” Societal changes were placing additional strain on the traditional “order” of school life. Alcohol and drugs were not allowed and an offense could result in being expelled. The faculty did resolve to learn more about drug use and how to persuade students not to take drugs. The students recognized that drug use was illegal, but wanted it acknowledged that there was a drug problem on campus. Many felt that a student should feel free to speak with a teacher about drugs without fear “of punishment for any admission of illegal drug use.”
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“Through experiencing the appropriate stimuli and being allowed considerable freedom of choice, the student will begin to recognize his own strengths and weaknesses and will gain the confidence to make responsible choices. Out of the self-respect thus gained comes respect for others, a pride in the Academy, and a commitment to the larger world community.”
Athletic requirements for team sports were reduced to allow time to pursue other interests. The Outing Club was brought back to offer outdoor activities such as ski trips, hiking, orienteering, canoeing, and camping.
Return to Campus Students returned to campus that fall to find many dramatic changes in the requirements and offerings at KUA. A senior Independent Study program was inaugurated, with 19 boys taking advantage of the opportunity during the first year. Mini Course Week was held the week before spring break. Regular classes were cancelled and many short, specialized courses were held each day, including astronomy, basic welding, basketball, a French trip to Montreal, the biological time bomb, and fly fishing, among many others. Students were required to participate in two minicourses of their choice each day. In 1972, 28 courses were offered.
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Chris Williamson directed several plays during the 1971–72 school year. The spring magazine states that, “His labors have paid off. The result has been a stimulated academy and an eyes-open town of Meriden . . . because everybody literally gets in the act: town girls, students, masters, administrators—everyone! . . . His selection of plays and inspired locations to present them have made everybody stand up and clap. Everything from ‘The Still Alarm’ in the dining room before dinner, to ‘The Lottery’ on the church lawn in a snowstorm, to the faculty play ‘If Grant Had Been Drinking At Appomattox’ by James Thurber. Others include ‘Impromptu,’ ‘Five in Judgment,’ and ‘As Smell of Burning Began.’ Twenty plays in all . . .” The Kimball Union newspaper continued to contain artwork, poetry, essays, and sports write-ups, as well as editorials and articles of interest pertaining to school life. Some editorials illustrate the ongoing struggle to find the right balance between freedom and responsibility. In the May 1972 issue, co-editor Jeff Cutts ’73, former chair of the board of trustees, wrote an article in favor of structured study hall. He recalled that in his freshman year there were structured study halls and that since they were abolished, the freshman and sophomore classes were not doing as well. Another article in the same issue by co-editor Donald Lowery ’73, today a KUA trustee, was concerned with a lack of selfdiscipline by students and enforcement by faculty of the rules. “I feel that we have arrived at a point where a KUA student feels he can do what he pleases, when he pleases . . . The period of lackadaisical enforcement of rules must come to an end, or KUA will become a three ring circus.” Nevertheless, through all the highs and lows of a country in turmoil during this time, classes were held at KUA, games were played, plays were produced, students were accepted at college, and the Academy survived. Top to Bottom: Dracula was staged in Alumni Gym in 1975. Frank Egan pictured with a new computer system, spring 1973. Old friends Mary Akerstrom and Barbara Douglass at an alumni event in the early 1970s.
A facultyâ€“student soccer game was held in 1973. Faculty, from left to right, Paul Gardner, Georg Feichtinger, Herb Kiendl, John Cotton, Paul Sheff, Frank Egan, Steve Bishop, Jeff Welt, Kip Laurent, and Phil Markert.
Athletics KUA continued to have the usual complement of athletic teams. At the varsity level, the reduced sports requirement didn’t seem to hurt the teams. The numbers for boys coming out for football, for example, may have been smaller, but it was because soccer was becoming more popular at that time. “Stretch” Gillam still had a good turnout for varsity basketball, despite the fact that he required haircuts for his players. Steve Bishop was more lenient with the haircut issue because he felt it was more important to have the boys playing baseball than doing other things that might lead them down the wrong path.
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KUA may have lost a few young athletes who could have been fine players if they hadn’t been able to choose other pursuits. However, Bishop felt that “As a general rule . . . those who loved sports and had ability continued to play them.”
Coeducation Returns The joint faculty–trustee committee formed to consider coeducation at KUA asked, will it “provide a more natural learning situation? A more natural social situation?” Whether to bring girls to campus or not was a question of what was good for the boys as well as what was good for girls. They wondered if girls would come to KUA, if alumni would recommend or send their own daughters and granddaughters to KUA? And then there were the practical questions of the physical plant, the curriculum, the athletic program changes, dormitory housing, and staff. The decision was made, and in the fall of 1974, 11 girls entered Kimball Union.
Looking Back Steve Bishop served the Academy from 1963 until 2000, under four different headmasters. He observed, “Yes, 1970 was an interesting year to put it mildly . . . specific events acted as a catalyst to unrest. I use the word unrest as no one ever led a rebellion on campus. No barricades were built and no speakers ever stood in front of a dorm with a bullhorn. Students simply wanted to know why things appeared to be going out of control at the national level. In addition, many felt that curriculum changes and alterations in their daily living schedules might enable them to better interact with the times. There were changes blowing in the proverbial wind. I felt it was our responsibility to listen and provide guidance.” The early seventies tested the resilience of many a school and, in the end, the mettle of Kimball Union’s faculty and leadership to adapt to the changes in the culture of boarding school education.
Steve and Joan Bishop.
—Robert Kent ’39, President of the Board Left to Right: Jeff Thornton ’73 at an alpine race. Coach Akerstrom clears the ice with KUA’s first Zamboni. Coaches John Clough (left) and Dave Bradlely (right) with the 1972 alpine team. The ski hill was in full operation throughout the early ’70s, with many of the skiers and Outing Club boys keeping it groomed and in working order. Coaches Robert “Stretch” Gillam (left) and Steve Bishop (right) with the 1971 varsity baseball team.
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“Our sadness at the departure of the Cottons is deepened by the warmth of our feelings and by the spirit and respect which have characterized our relationships from the day of their arrival in Meriden . . . We are grateful for their steadfast efforts at Kimball Union during what has been everywhere a most trying five-year period.”
Thomas M. Mikula, Headmaster 1974–1989.
Return to Coeducation Thomas Michael Mikula, Kimball Union’s 16th headmaster, began his life in 1926 in the steel mills region of Pennsylvania. His father worked in the mines while his mother was at home raising three children. Mikula believed from an early age that his life would follow that of his father into the mines, but his chemistry teacher encouraged him to go to college on a football scholarship.
He earned a degree in mathematics at The College of William and Mary, then a master’s degree from Columbia University Teachers’ College in Physical Education. At his first job at William and Mary as a football coach and physical education instructor, he met his future wife, Elva Waltrip. They decided to spend their lives serving young people. As faculty at Phillips Andover Academy for 10 years, Mikula was a math instructor, football and boxing coach, and dorm housemaster. Much later, Mikula wrote, “This was teaching at its finest. In the dormitory, classroom, and athletics, I developed a reputation for being a ‘strict disciplinarian.’ To me, there was no other way. These talented young men needed to have all their options in life preserved. Their talents had to be developed until they could make their own choices. My success in football had come through hard work, discipline, and concentration, so I knew these young men would profit also from similar experiences.” Joan Bishop, Elva Mikula, and Susan Ridgway prepare the table for the Senior Tea in Monroe House in 1986.
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Kimball Union Academy admits its first class of young women in 39 years.
“Garfield” snow sculpture at Winter Carnival.
By 1983 school computer terminals were available in the dorms and students could use them for their homework.
George Akerstom retires, ending a 35-year career at KUA.
Ira Townsend ends a 40-year career at KUA with his retirement.
The most genuinely respected school masters were those who held up the highest standards and then encouraged their students to measure up. — Thomas Mikula
Coach Akerstrom drops the first puck at the alumni–varsity hockey game, played at the dedication ceremony of the Akerstrom Arena in the Whittemore Indoor Athletic Facility.
KUA celebrates Founder’s Day, commemorating KUA’s 175th anniversary.
1988 Whittemore Indoor Athletic Facility is dedicated on December 3.
1989 Ground is broken for Flickinger Arts Center, a building that transforms the campus and the school.
We are determined that this first coed class in 40 years at KUA be remembered for its achievements, contributions, and involvement in worthwhile endeavors. Since we are the first coeds, we feel we must try to be outstanding in order to help set the standards for the many coeds that will follow us. Although we are presently few in number, we have the KUA spirit; and we coeds are here to stay.
— a letter signed by all 11 girls in the 1974–75 class
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Monroe House As a Campus Center The first challenge in the return to coeducation was how to accommodate the 11 girls who would join the male student body that fall. Monroe House became a focal point for the girls, creating a home away from home where they could relax or study. Athletic activities began with the field hockey program and for a changing room, another space was provided in the back upstairs wing of Monroe House.
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Edward, Anna, Elva, and Tom Mikula arriving at KUA.
There was a series of annual open houses and singing around the piano. A spring formal tea for senior girls and faculty women has become a right of passage. Fondly known to this day as the Senior Tea, this annual May event is much anticipated as the beginning of Commencement week for the soon-to-be graduates. The Mikulas hosted Sunday evening cookouts at their home for both boys and girls “as late into the fall and as early in the spring as weather would permit.” They also held an open house for seniors and their dates before the prom, and for seniors, their families, and guests after the Baccalaureate service on Friday afternoon at Commencement. Monroe House became a place all could enjoy.
Later the Mikulas served as resident directors of the first public school ABC residence in Hanover, New Hampshire, and Mikula taught math at Hanover High School. Following eight years establishing new public school ABC programs, the chance to come to Meriden materialized. Mikula’s belief in structure and discipline would be just what the Academy needed after the restlessness of the early 1970s.
“Throughout his years on The Hilltop [Tom] reminded faculty members to teach by example. Yet, his were not hollow expectations. He epitomized the word headmaster in its truest sense, in that he was determined to set a personal example for teachers to follow.” — Steve Bishop
Students gather at Monroe House for a Senior Prom reception.
Holiday cheer for faculty and students.
Students relax in one of the small dorms in the early 1980s.
Community Service Some of the programs developed during the ’70s to give the students an opportunity for service to others continue today. They included blood drives for the Red Cross and volunteer work at soup kitchens in Lebanon and Claremont. The Penny Fellowship “was designed to raise our conscience level and raise money to benefit those in need.” Glass jars were placed in Miller to collect pennies and small change from students and faculty. Headmaster Mikula recalls the beginning of the Kimball Union Fire Brigade. “Early in my tenure, one of our students turned in a false fire alarm. As punishment he was required to clean fire trucks and serve with the Meriden Fire Department. When other students asked if they could serve in a similar way we instituted the Kimball Union Fire Brigade.” To this day, the Kimball Union Fire Brigade remains as our best and most meaningful service to the local community and our most effective tie to the town. Few people remember that this service began as a punishment for calling in a false alarm. The KUA Fire Brigade is as strong today as in its inception. One of its current faculty leaders, Darrell Beaupré ’86, was a member of the brigade as a student and now, as a full-time member of the Meriden Volunteer Fire Department, takes great pride in leading and instructing KUA volunteers, and works with students and alumni to raise funds.
The KUA Fire Brigade in 1980 in front of Chellis Hall, with faculty advisor Frank Egan.
Beyond the Classroom KUA’s wide range of activities, events, and traditions were strengthened. Scrimmages between the faculty and students in basketball, hockey, and baseball became annual events. A tradition still carried on today is the formal dinner held before the students leave for the winter holidays. Members of the faculty wait on the students’ tables and others work in the kitchens. An auction at Parents’ Weekend featured items donated by parents and faculty. One year Mikula auctioned posters of his own football photo. Another year the Bishops won Red Sox tickets to the World Series.
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The variety of student publications included The Kimball Union newspaper that began in 1892 and KUAlumni magazine. The Meridian, a literary magazine that published student writing and artwork, was reintroduced in 1976 after an eight-year hiatus. One or two issues are still produced each year. Plays were put on in Alumni Gym, the Congregational Church, or in Hayes Auditorium in Fitch Science Hall. This was a feat that had to be seen to be believed. “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Godspell” were two musicals that were produced in Hayes, where the closets on either side of the stage were improvised as space. Chris Williamson directed many plays in this setting.
KUA Singers, Alumni Gym, 1985.
Tom and Elva Mikula enjoy a day of recreation, with Mt. Ascutney in the background.
Athletics In the mid-1970s, KUA and Vermont Academy joined the Lakes Region Prep School Athletic Association. These schools are also members of the New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC). Field hockey began with the reintroduction of coeducation at KUA. Only one girl on the team had previous playing experience. With a total of 11 players from the 11 girls at the school, some facuilty spouses helped out by practicing with the team. The girls lost their first game 2-1 to Hartford High School, but proved they could play and score as a team.That first winter some of the girls joined the swim team, and in the spring, the co-ed track and softball teams. By the next year, girls’ soccer, basketball, and lacrosse programs were available. In 1976–77, they posted winning seasons in field hockey 5-4-1, soccer 8-6-1, and tennis, 10-2.
Boys’ hockey, NEPSAC champions, 1981–82.
Girls’ field hockey, 1974. The first year since the return to coeducation, there were just enough girls to form a team.
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The boys’ athletic program continued to be strong in most areas. In 1974, the football team beat rival school Vermont Academy for the first time since 1965. The varsity boys’ soccer team had a winning record of 12-1 and basketball had a record of 13-7. There was a swimming team for the first time in years, wrestling was introduced, and there was the co-ed track team. A new cycling program in 1985–86 competed with other schools. Some years there were four boys’ soccer teams as it grew in popularity. The varsity team had many winning seasons under Coach Georg Feichtinger. The varsity hockey team won the NEPSAC hockey tournament in 1981–82, finishing their season 22-5-1. They were coached by Woody Haskins ’69, whose three-year record at KUA was 61-16-2. His assistant coach Larry Sparks took over the team in 1982–83 and had a first-year record of 28-1.
Advancing Kimball Union To increase awareness of the school’s growth among alumni, dinners for KUA’s alumni were organized across the country. Through these events, six trustees were recruited and there was increased alumni interest in reunions. Greater numbers attending reunions and significant increases in fundraising through the success of two capital campaigns resulted.
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The National Advisory Council was formed in 1975. Consisting of 13 men who had achieved overwhelming success in their own professions, they met twice a year to discuss matters that reflected on the welfare of Kimball Union. A National Advisory Council Scholars Program was created in 1982 to bring students with high scholastic ability to KUA from northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The first three of these scholars went on to Harvard, Berkeley, and Tufts. National Advisory Scholars became some of KUA’s most influential academic leaders. Made possible through the generosity of Hugh Cullman ’42, the Scholars Program became known as the Cullman Scholars in 1985. Today the Cullman Scholars Program supports four or five students each summer, many of whom travel, work, and are involved in research and service nationally and in countries around the world. In early 1985 the Academy announced the start of a three-year, $10 million campaign, to conclude on June 16, 1988, the date on which the Academy was to celebrate the 175th anniversary of its founding. The Academy doubled its endowment to $8 million, added faculty chairs, built two dormitories, and created a Center for the Arts.
Tom Mikula with alumni at a reunion.
Bobby Orr, celebrated Boston Bruins player, was the guest of honor at the dedication ceremony of Akerstrom Arena
Students prepare a time capsule at Founder’s Day in 1988.
“What is good about Kimball Union today is the same as was good about Kimball Union 40 years ago, 80 years ago, 170 years ago. We have good people gathered together as teachers and students, and we give them an opportunity to live together, work together, and learn together . . . That is what teaching is ultimately about.” — Tom Mikula, at Founder’s Day Ceremonies in 1988
The 50th reunion of the 1937 Football Team.
A Sense of Place The Mikulas believed that small houses with a small number of students served young people most effectively. Several faculty houses—Hazelton, Welch, Kilton, Rogers, Frost, and Hall Farm— were turned into faculty homes with small dormitories. Increasing the number of students living in houses took some of the pressure off the large dormitories of Dexter Richards, Bryant, and Densmore. Renovations were made in Frost House to hold nine students, in Welch House to hold six students and an addition to Hazelton House now held eight students. There were future plans for 16 students to live in Hall Farm. By 1975–1976, KUA was able to house 50 students living with families in six dormitories with 10 or less students. As time went on at KUA, more and more faculty couples with young children came as a teaching pair, especially as the number of female students increased. It seemed natural to open a daycare center at KUA, and since then the center has become an important service to the KUA and local community. At first it was located in the basement of Baxter, providing a baby and toddler room and a room for pre-school and kindergartners. For many years now the daycare center has been located in the old dining hall in Dexter Richards Hall.
A number of other alumni gifts led to new buildings and additions to existing buildings. Charlie Doe ’45 provided funds for an addition to Kilton Hall in 1988 in honor of Grubby and Barbara Douglass, who were long-time faculty members at KUA from 1937 to 1972. The Coffin Family, David ’44 and Dexter ’41, gave a gift in 1978 for a new library named in honor of their mother, Elizabeth Dorr Coffin. Named for donor Fred Whittemore ’49, who was a trustee from 1976 to 1981, the Whittemore Athletic Center was dedicated on December 3, 1988. It contains a hockey rink, locker rooms, Trainers’ Room, Athletic Director’s Office, lounge, and equipment room. Top to Bottom: The Class of 1945 gave a gift to add a greenhouse to Miller Dining Hall. Frost House barn, where the girls’ equestrian program boarded their horses. The barn was removed in 2008 to make way for new athletic fields. Coffin library was dedicated in 1980. The entrance to Whittemore Athletic Center.
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When Baxter Hall was the only class building on campus, assembly was held in a large auditorium or chapel on the first floor with seating for almost everyone. In 1983, Mrs. Marjorie Pope, mother of John ’49, gave a generous gift to the school for the purpose of reestablishing a chapel in this area. The large room was divided with the half containing the valuable stained glass memorial windows becoming the Pope Family Chapel and the other half the trustee meeting room.
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A number of veteran faculty members retired during this time. George Akerstrom (1943–1978) served the Academy as a coach, athletic director, and geography teacher. He was honored in 1988 with the Akerstrom Chair, and by having his name added to the Sportsmanship plaque in the Akerstrom Arena, which was named for him. Ira Townsend ’38 (1945–1985) is, at this time, the longest-serving faculty member at KUA. The school treasurer was a man for all seasons who enjoyed working on the grounds and spearheaded the Townsend Ski Hill on French’s Ledges. It is no longer Sara and Ira Townsend ’38. in use but was enjoyed by the Kimball Union community for many years. Lionel Mosher (1948–1970) was an English teacher and department chair. Following his retirement, he returned to KUA to work part time from 1974 to 1985. Mosher is one of KUA’s legendary teachers whose former students still cite the remarkable impact he has had on their lives. The Lionel Mosher English Chair was established in 1986 in his honor and today is held by his former student, John Kluge ’66.
“A very brilliant student will challenge you in one way and a student who isn’t so brilliant will challenge you in other ways. I can’t think of any classes that I’ve had that haven’t challenged me one way or the other.” — Lionel Mosher
C. Parker Jones ’37 (1952–1980) was an English teacher, Outing Club leader, and fencing and skiing instructor. His former home, now faculty housing, was named Jones House in honor of him and his wife. Parker was also photographer and advisor to The Kimball Union newspaper and a KUAlumni magazine contributor. George Prescott (1955–1989) worked at KUA as athletic trainer for 34 years. He was also appreciated for his work as the Plainfield recreation director and tennis coach for many years. Kenneth Cook (1955–1982) was a French teacher and department chair. He is often remembered for his muchanticipated spring break trips to France and Canada. He died while still teaching at KUA. Peter Holland ’57 (1961– 1969 and 1976–1984) taught English and was chairman of the department. Holland was another KUA faculty icon whose teaching had a lasting influence on class after class of KUA alumni. His friends and classmates honored him with the establishment of the Peter Holland ’57 Chair in English, held today, like the Mosher Chair, by his former student, John Kluge ’66. Hap Ridgeway (1974–1989) taught history, chairing the department beginning in 1977. He coached football, recreational skiing, and tennis. After serving as assistant headmaster until 1989, he went on to become headmaster at Berwick Academy in Maine.
Peter Holland ’57 receiving the Faculty Cup at commencement.
Science teacher Frank Egan (1964–1979) continued his work with computers at KUA until his retirement. He foretold, “Anyone going into the world of work without at least some knowledge of computers is going to be at a disadvantage . . . It is pervasive now and will become more so.” Lionel Mosher.
Elva Mikula, 1930–2007 One of Elva Mikula’s earliest challenges and greatest triumphs was helping to usher in Kimball Union’s return to co-education in 1974. Elva created enduring traditions for the young women who came to KUA. As head of Buildings and Grounds for many years, Elva’s touch was evident in her attention to details and in the standards she set for the care and maintenance of the campus. Elva, figuratively and literally, made KUA a home for the students who attended. Friends and former colleagues from far and wide joined in celebrating Elva’s life at a memorial service in Meriden on May 17, 2008. “Elva had an uncanny sense for improving the campus, from the smallest detail to the vision for the next 50 years,” recalled Hap Ridgway, former KUA assistant headmaster and retired head of Berwick Academy. “. . . she was Tom’s singular partner in leading Kimball Union through those years of change and growth. They shared a vision for the Academy and the strength to make it happen.” In 2011, a lasting tribute to Elva was added to the campus in the form of a victory bell, “Elva’s Bell,” and a KUA tradition was reborn. Today Elva’s Bell can be heard across campus celebrating each successful home game.
The End of the Mikula Years “Be worthy of your lineage. Stay worthy of your lineage. Call collect because you’ve got to reach out to somebody else. — Fred Whittemore, in his commencement address in 1985 Tom Mikula often used Whittemore’s words during morning meetings to encourage the students to be good citizens. Reflecting on his years at KUA, Mikula focused on community and citizenship.
— Tom Mikula
Mikula with Tom Flickinger ’50. The Flickinger family gave a large donation in 1988 to build the Flickinger Arts Center, which was dedicated in 1990.
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“We are today too much a society of spectators; we too often shun involvement. . . I believe that a person benefits as he becomes involved, that he profits and leaves a part of himself in every activity and with every person with whom he relates. The person who gets involved and gives of himself, I firmly believe, will be rewarded in full measure, heaped up, pressed down, and running over. I hold this as a fundamental truth, applicable to everyone at Kimball Union—students, faculty, and administration alike.”
Timothy Knox, Headmaster 1989–2003.
Age of Arts & Technology Timothy Knox was born in Dover, New Hampshire, in 1940. He spent his childhood in rural New Hampshire, with sheep and beef cattle in the barn and a large vegetable garden. At Dover High School, Knox was class valedictorian, winning top awards in science, math, English, and Latin, as well as the ScholarAthlete Award. He was all-state his senior year in skiing and football.
Knox attended Dartmouth College as an Eleazar Wheelock Scholar of Outstanding Promise, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a major in English in 1961. After earning a master’s degree in Contemporary British and American Literature at Columbia University in 1963, he began a career teaching English, first at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. From 1967 he taught English at the Dalton School, where he later became head of the English department and the faculty trustee.
Knox met Elizabeth O’Donovan at Dalton, and they were married in 1973. A native of London, Liz taught English and theatre. The Knoxes moved from Dalton to the Saddle River Country Day School and then to the Fountain Valley School in Colorado, where Knox was headmaster for nine years before coming to KUA in 1989. The Knox family in 1989: Donal, Nell, Liz, Ricky, and Tim.
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Flickinger Arts Center is dedicated.
Georg Feichtinger with the Herbert family, who competed for the Feichtinger Cup Alumni Ski Race in 2002.
Flickinger Arts Center under a blanket of snow. Seniors waiting to enter the Stone Church for the Baccalaureate Service.
Cynthia Howe hiking with students.
With the dedication of the Dining Commons, the four sides of the Quad are complete.
A mission statement for the school is crafted.
An honor code is instituted, giving students more responsibility for their own actions.
The E.E. Just Environmental Center is dedicated.
The character of the school and the students, its lack of pretension and its sense of community and history, with its origins in the rural world but always closely connected to Dartmouth College, were very appealing.
A boarding school means much to me in that you can see the light going on in so many different areas. You can see growth on the athletic field, in the dinning hall, or in the classroom. It’s not a matter of getting in your car at 12:30 and leaving the parking lot. It’s a commitment.
— Liz Knox
— Steve Bishop
A production of Our History’s Homunculous.
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Dean Goodwin in the greenhouse in Fitch Hall.
Kit Creeger (1990–present) was coordinator of performing arts for many years. Today he teaches, and is the music director for the annual Winter Musical and Associate Director of Communications.
Betsy Baird (1983–1995) was instrumental in establishing a full arts program.
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Building upon solid academic programs to make KUA one of the top New England independent schools, the Advanced Placement Program was substantially expanded, including the addition of a new subject, AP Environmental Science. The schedule was changed to allow for more time for in-depth study for certain subjects, and Latin and classical studies became a required subject for all students. A study skills program for all freshmen was developed, and the Plan Book, which became a signature KUA organizational tool and still exists today, was introduced. Beverly Wakely (1993–2005) came to KUA as a semi-retired tutor after having taught for 35 years at Cardigan Mountain School with her husband, Headmaster Norman Wakely. The newly developed Study Skills Program was integrated across the curriculum to teach students critical study skills, learning strategies, and organizational methods. This led to a freshman program designed to help all freshmen make a smooth academic and social transition to school life. KUA was at the forefront of schools developing Environmental Science programs. Two significant gifts helped to offer opportunities both in and out of the classroom. The first was an anonymous gift of nearby Snow Mountain, which provided the school with a 900-acre wilderness classroom for experiential learning. The second was a gift of Allan Munro ’55 in memory
of his brother Louis Munro ’57 to advance the environmental program at Kimball Union. Environmental science was added to the curriculum and a speaker series was developed. The beautiful new E.E. Just Environmental Center, a wing added to the Fitch Science Center in 1999, became home to the new program.
Technology at KUA Jim Schubert (1991–2007) introduced pottery to hundreds of KUA students.
David Weidman (1990–present) headed the theatre department and served as the Arts Department Chair. He is now the Academy’s Dean of the Faculty and Academic Affairs.
Soon another phenomenon that forever influenced the way we communicate—the Internet—became accessible to the general public and www.kua.org was launched. Although managing it was a much more cumbersome process than it is today, KUA recognized its importance early on and worked hard to develop, update, and evolve the site. Students had better access to technology as well, with the addition of what was then considered the high-tech “Mac Lab” in the Miller Student Center, and later more computer terminals around campus, and a language lab in Baxter Hall.
KUA’s art program was shared with the greater community through the Taylor Gallery. Art gallery openings for exhibits from a range of artists became popular events with local alumni, neighbors, and friends. The Taylor Gallery season culminated then, as it does today, with a student art exhibit.
Left: Visual Arts teacher Julie-Haskell Webb (1998–present) helping students create a mask for a theatre production. Dance teacher and now Arts Department Chair Kay McCabe (1996–present) in the Dance Studio.
Scrib Fauver with language students using library computers during class.
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Arts as part of the curriculum and as extra-curricular offerings grew and flourished with the new, state-of-the–art facility, Flickinger Arts Center. In order to integrate the arts program into the school day, H period was added to the end of the day and reserved for the arts. It marked a new flowering for the arts, as it gave it an un-conflicted time to meet. Another adjustment was changing the three-season requirement for athletics so that one season could be dedicated to an arts activity.
There were some computers at KUA in 1989, but they were not the personal tools of today. Over the next decade, offices on campus adopted their use. The transformational role the personal computer made to Kimball Union communications was visible first in print where desktop publishing replaced the era of typesetting. Suddenly, a full range of publications, including Kimball Union Magazine, could be designed at KUA, making production much more cost effective and efficient.
Beyond the Classroom A headmaster’s holiday was declared three times a year. One of them was on Mountain Day and the other two came in the spring and winter when everyone needed a break. It wasn’t until morning meeting that students saw Knox’s red tie that let the assembly know. The entire community of faculty and students were divided into black and orange groups. Competitions during the year for points included a current events quiz, dance competition, and various games. There were also canoe races across the pond and field games. Campus events included an all-school cookout.
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To celebrate the holidays, a beautiful service of all faiths was held in the Stone Church before the winter break. Student readings were followed by carol singing and candle lighting. The staff at the Health Center began hosting a cookie open house, spending days making hundreds of cookies for the entire KUA community. Winter Carnival, which included snow sculptures built by the dorms, outdoor events, athletic events, and a dance, was held with a Casino Night.
Tug-of-war involved half the school on one side of Chellis Pond and the other half pulling from the other side—with the losers in the water.
Once a month, the Polar Bear Club dunked in Chellis Pond or in the swimming hole under the covered bridge.
September 11, 2001 deeply affected the KUA community. Students and faculty commemorated the anniversary by writing the names of all the victims on stones and creating a cairn memorial. Each year there is a short, remembrance ceremony. Community Service Day was introduced to give students a transformative experience of service that would encourage students to commit to community service in their lives after KUA.
An all-school celebration on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day featured performances at morning meeting and students reading his “I have a dream . . .” speech.
Canoe races on the hill above the pond provided much drama.
Athletics By the late 1980s and early 1990s, girls’ athletic prowess was coming to the fore at KUA. In the fall, the field hockey and soccer teams were a force to be reckoned with in the Lakes Beginning in the winter of 1995–96, the boys’ ice hockey team won the KUA New Year’s Region. For three successive seasons, Hockey Tournament three years in a row. starting in the fall of 1999, field hockey was undefeated Lakes Region and New England Champions. Girls’ lacrosse was Lakes Region Champions for 10 consecutive years. Girls’ Nordic and Alpine teams continued to be strong and the basketball teams began winning titles. Girls who had played youth ice hockey in their hometowns started coming to KUA, and the teams became highly competitive. In the winter of 1995–96 they won the New England Championship Tournament for the first time and repeated the feat the following year. Lacrosse joined the traditional cross country and track teams, and softball, as well as new sports for endurance athletes.
Liz brought boundless energy and a commitment to excellence to KUA at a very exciting time for the community. Her background in professional theater made Liz uniquely qualified to help develop a strong arts department with highly skilled faculty in the beautiful, new Flickinger Arts Center. Liz nurtured relationships within the local community and her role as a board member of Meriden Players helped her to develop meaningful relationships with many townspeople. Liz cared deeply for the KUA community and was committed to the well being of all. From her role as the Director of Public Relations and Publications where she was able to introduce the outside world to KUA, to entertaining the faculty in her home and more formal receptions and reunions, she was ever present, along with her camera as the school photographer, welcoming everyone with her warm smile. Liz carried on the traditions and duties of her predecessors while creating new ones for the future. Through all this, Liz raised three children, and will long be remembered by the alumni, parents, and faculty of her time at KUA.
In 1997–98, coached by Bill Farrell, the boys ski team was Coach Bert McLain, with her undefeated Lakes Region Division II Champions and moved to Division I the next year. Champions team, wins the New England Class C Championship Tournament.
Girls’ field hockey under head coach Sue Halliday, began winning championship teams in the late 1990s.
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KUA welcomed the new sport of rugby for the boys in the spring of 1990, along with co-ed mountain biking a few years later. Wrestling and cycling were very popular sports for boys looking for something new and challenging. Many of more traditional sports, including soccer, football, basketball, ice hockey, skiing, baseball, tennis, and track were played by most boys, some of whom went on to play at the college level. A few are now coaches themselves at the high school and college level.
The E.E. Just Environmental Center, named after the renowned African American biologist who had graduated in the class of 1903, faces The Quad.
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A Sense of Place The footprint of the campus was forever changed with the addition of three significant buildings that created “The Quad” in the heart of the campus. Flickinger Arts Center, a gift of three generations of the Flickinger family, was dedicated in the spring of 1990. As part of the dedication, The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan was presented in the new theatre. The evening took an unexpected but memorable turn when the fire alarm went off and the building had to be temporarily evacuated. Today Flickinger Arts Center is not only home to many student–artists and faculty, it welcomes the entire student body at least twice a week for All School Meeting, and throughout the year for other assemblies and gatherings. Built in 1999, the Dining Commons later named for Charles F. Doe was designed to accommodate the growing student body. It also features the Coffin Meeting Room, in memory of David Coffin Jr. ’73. This light-filled building effectively completed the fourth side of The Quad. The attractive addition to the Fitch Science and Mathematics Center houses a working greenhouse and environmental science classroom and office. The design of the building is intentionally oriented to The Quad and offers access to the Fitch classrooms as well as the Center. The Class of 1955 was instrumental in fundraising for the E.E. Just Environmental Center.
The Quad, with Flickinger Arts Center and the Dining Commons.
Other important campus improvements included the addition of a fully-outfitted Fitness Center to Miller in 2002, the conversion of the former Dining Hall space in Miller to a Student Center, a new faculty apartment and student lounge in Chellis, and a new home for the Daycare Center in the former dining hall in Dexter Richards. The school also purchased the Meriden General Store and was given Jones House, a two-unit faculty home, named in honor of C. Parker Jones ’37 and his wife Catherine who had owned the home for many years. Dormitory renovations, new lighting and boards in Akerstrom Arena, and classroom renovations in the Fitch Science and Mathematics Center updated various parts of campus. Carver Field, which served as the school’s football field for many years, was dedicated in honor of Headmaster Frederick Carver.
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Students leave morning meeting in Flickinger.
Mountain Day has been enjoyed for over 100 years.
The Knox Legacy
Upon Steve Bishop’s retirement in 2000 (1963–2000), his friend and colleague Paul Sheff noted that during his 37-year career at Kimball Union he had outlasted eight presidents, four headmasters, and three popes. First and foremost a teacher, “Bish” as he was fondly known by all, at various times served as a coach, dorm parent, athletic director, and assistant head of school. In 2010, together with his wife Joan, Bish was awarded the Academy’s highest honor, the Kimball Union medal, in recognition of his countless contributions to the school and in appreciation for the positive influence he had on generations of KUA students.
Tim Knox guided Kimball Union during a time that technology and the arts gained prominence and changed the school dramatically. Flickinger Arts Center took a central place in the community, while use of technology in admissions, development, and the classroom truly brought KUA into the twenty-first century. The emphasis on community service endures to this day, shaping each student’s experience at KUA and in the wider world after graduation.
Georg Feichtinger (1970–2002) spent the better part of his career at Kimball Union teaching history and engaged in the full-triple threat life of a boarding school faculty member. A consummate outdoorsman, Georg’s love of the environment around him translated into decades of successful alpine ski teams, students involved in cutting and maintaining trails, and hikes in the area and beyond. He was also the head varsity boys’ soccer coach. Widely recognized for his volunteer spirit, the Feichtinger Community Service Awards, presented annually, recognize an underclassman and a senior who have followed his example.
Tim and Liz Knox enjoy a quiet moment before their retirement in 2003.
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Joan Bishop’s (1966–2000) first position at Kimball Union was that of “faculty wife,” who, like many of the other wives of faculty on campus poured tea and coffee, watched the boys at sporting events, and chaperoned the occasional dances on campus. As her own family grew, so too did Joan’s role at the Academy. Over the years she moved seamlessly through positions as dorm parent, coach, admissions assistant, alumni affairs assistant, and, in the years prior to retirement, as Director of Alumni Affairs. In 2010, she was awarded The Kimball Union Medal “. . . for her boundless energy, joyful spirit, and dedicated and compassionate service to the Academy and to your community . . .”
Michael J. Schafer, Head of School 2003–Present
A New Millennium Michael J. Schafer was born in Waltham, Massachusetts, on April 20, 1961, five minutes after his twin brother Mark, joining older siblings, Brenda and David. He attended Weston schools where talented teachers inspired him to learn Spanish and sparked his interest in teaching. He also credits his paternal grandmother, who continued to tutor immigrants in English until she was in her nineties, with influencing his passion for education.
Schafer attended Colby College where he majored in Spanish and graduated with distinction in 1983. A three-sport athlete, he was captain of the soccer team and squash teams but only played baseball for two years because, he says, “I was all glove and no hit!” He spent his junior spring semester fulfilling his wish to study in Spain. After graduating from Colby, Schafer began his teaching career in Massachusetts at Cushing Academy (1983–86) and Belmont Hill School (1986–93), where he was a teacher, coach, advisor, and dorm parent. Schafer met Gayle Murphy through mutual friends. They were married in the Belmont Hill Chapel in 1991. In 1993 Schafer left Belmont Hill School to pursue a master’s in education at Harvard University. At the same time, he was offered the opportunity to become the Edward H. Northrop ’61 Chair, Director of Athletics, at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. The Schafers spent 10 years at Middlesex. In addition to serving as Athletic Director, Schafer taught Spanish, became Assistant Director of Major Gifts, and ultimately served as Assistant Head of School helping to define and shape the Middlesex School community during its $125 million Centennial Campaign. He and Gayle also had three children, Hannah, Joanna, and Jonathan. Michael J. Schafer was appointed Kimball Union’s 18th head of school by the trustees on the unanimous decision of the selection committee. During the summer of 2003, the Schafers arrived in Meriden and moved into Munro House.
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The Schafer family celebrate Hannah’s graduation from KUA in 2012. From left, Jonathan, Joanna, Hannah, Gayle, and Mike. Hannah was the first daughter of a head of school to graduate from KUA in nearly a century.
2003 The Annie Duncan House and 26 adjoining acres of land are acquired.
Tom Gosselin ’58, Jennifer Kurth Borislow ’78, Jeff Cutts ’73, Mike Schafer, Ed Stansfield ’78, and Tim Herbert ’83 perform the ribbon cutting for Barrette Campus Center in 2008.
Pope Field and the lower field complex are dedicated.
Jessie Carver English at the dedication of Carver Courtyard in 2009. Jessie was honored with the Kimball Union Medal.
KUA receives a $5 million unrestricted gift, the largest in its history.
KUA’s Global and Diversity Fair is a signature event on The Hilltop.
Campus Center is completed, transforming the campus.
Mission Statement Kimball Union Academy prepares students for the challenges of tomorrow’s world by inspiring academic mastery, creativity, responsibility, and leadership.
Since 1813, the Academy has persevered and advanced through the Civil War, two World Wars, the Great Depression, recessions, and turbulent social and economic times. Our educational goals for young people do not change with the times. � Mike Schafer
2010 Miller Bicentennial Hall’s renovated state-of-the-art humanities center opens.
2011 KUA introduces the 1-1 Laptop Program.
Core Values • Respect for oneself and others • Commitment to honesty and the highest ethical standards • Concern for the environment
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Education for the Twenty-First Century
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With a solid academic program in place, Kimball Union was well positioned to respond to the changing educational emphases of the new decade. The academic program has been moving from a teacher-centered model to a student-centered, project-based learning environment that fosters the twenty-first-century skills that students need for success in college and in the global community. Building on the classic three “Rs,” the six “Cs” identified by the National Association for Independent Schools (NAIS) for the future include critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation, character, and cross-cultural competency. The acquisition of these skills is measured annually through the College Work Readiness Assessment. The development of signature programs that define the Kimball Union experience has been a significant focus. Increased emphases on global education has resulted in the introduction of Mandarin Chinese and interdisciplinary offerings including Human Geography, Anthropology, Comparative Politics, and Economics. Students have the opportunity for trimester and year-long study abroad in India, as one example of the many international and exchange programs available. The Cullman Scholars program allows underclassmen a chance to pursue a passion, usually educational or service-oriented and often in another country, during the summer months. The Environmental Studies curriculum has continued to evolve with Physics for Sustainability and Environmental Chemistry classes, as well as opportunities for experiential learning in the E.E. Just Environmental Center.
Since 1979, Mike Cloutman has been a teacher, coach, dorm parent, advisor, and was the Director of Planned Giving for many years.
For over 30 years, Mike Taupier has served the full range of triple threat faculty duties. He now works in Alumni Affairs.
The launch of KUA summer programs in 2006 marked the beginning of a strategic initiative to connect summer programs to KUA’s educational mission. Kimball Union had the unique opportunity to partner with Dartmouth College’s renowned Rassias Language Institute to offer Rassias “Accelerated Language Programs” or ALPs summer programs to high school students. ALPs has become KUA’s signature language program, with both on-campus and Costa Rica travel opportunities. A Girls’ Leadership Camp is also offered each summer.
The redeveloping farm program encourages students to learn about animal husbandry and connect with their food sources, while expanded Learning Center facilities and staff support students with a wide variety of learning styles and differences. The Junior Writing Portfolio, part of the Writing Across the Curriculum initiative, and Senior Capstone programs offer students opportunities to explore subjects in depth during their KUA careers. Director of Studies Cynthia Howe, oversees the Learning Center programs. Cynthia celebrates her 25th year at KUA in 2013.
Science Department Chair Murray Dewdney marks his 25th anniversay at Kimball Union in 2013.
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A New Era of Technology
Social Programs and Leadership
Reflecting KUA’s commitment to the integration of technology into the KUA educational experience, the renovation of Miller Bicentennial Hall in 2010 and the updating of Fitch classrooms in 2011 has equipped most academic classrooms with the latest technology, including SMART Boards, high-definition video, and high-speed wireless networking. The KUA 1-to-1 Laptop program, introduced in 2011 and fully integrated in 2012, put a MacBook Pro laptop in each student’s hands, giving them ready access to global digital resources.
Recently the school has made significant strides in implementing grade-specific social programs and services designed to give students the information, skills, and qualities to become active citizens in the global community. In 2010 the trustees approved a revised Mission Statement that includes leadership as a core focus in addition to its long-held mission precepts, mastery, creativity, and responsibility.
Faculty quickly incorporated technology into the curriculum as an extension of the traditional classroom. The laptop program furthered the Strategic Plan’s goal to move toward the use of e-text books. Website enhancements in 2005 began a move away from a primarily paper-based system toward a digital one with assignments, grades, and student-generated work stored in a common, secure digital space. By leveraging web-based resources on their class pages, teachers have been able to make valuable resources available to students to support their learning, both in and out of the classroom.
Concurrent with the social programs was a commitment to the development of student leaders. New leadership roles were created across the community to allow students to identify issues and work collaboratively to enhance the student experience and build the community. These programs reflect our commitment image here to develop in each student ethical standards, the capacity for leadership, and the desire and the ability to make a difference as globally responsible citizens in an increasingly complex world.
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Dr. Blaine Kopp and Charlotte Herbert ’11 working in the E.E. Just greenhouse.
Unprecendented Philanthropy Perhaps the most ringing endorsement of the respect and confidence the Kimball Union community developed in Schafer’s leadership came in 2007 in the form of an anonymous unrestricted $5 million gift, the Academy’s largest outright gift in its 200-year history.
“This gift is a magnificent demonstration of support for the school’s leadership and for the strategic direction that will guide us into our third century,” � Board Chair Jeff Cutts ’73
Despite the positive developments through 2008, an event with much wider impact affected The Hilltop and the larger world— the global financial crisis. Fortunately, the school was on solid financial footing when the crisis hit. Kimball Union’s enrollment and endowment had increased significantly and a conservative approach to financial management placed the school in a forwardlooking position to meet new needs and challenges. Following the fall 2009 meeting of the board of trustees, Kimball Union Academy announced a comprehensive fundraising campaign with a $38 million goal. By fall 2012, over 85 percent of the goal had been raised, including nine gifts over $1 million. For the first time, the Annual Fund exceeded the $1 million mark in 2007–08 and has continued to grow each year since.
Beyond the Classroom While many of the traditional clubs and activities of the past endure, some engaging new ones have emerged as well. Global Fair, a day-long, school-wide celebration of diversity and the environment was introduced in 2007. Students attend workshops, films, and talks on a broad range of topics related to cultural, political and religious diversity, social justice, and global citizenship. A year after its introduction in 2011, KUA’s STEM team gained national recognition by winning the New Hampshire division of the Real World Design Challenge, and competing in Washington, D.C. for the national title. KUA’s commitment to community service continues through the Penny Fellowship Program and annual events like the Red Cross Blood Drive and KUAid, as well as various faculty and student-led initiatives, including the Fire Brigade. Students also have the opportunity to take language, cultural, and environmental trips each year to Costa Rica and various other destinations.
A nurse at KUA since 1985, Sandy Ouellette serves as KUA’s Diversity Coordinator, and is responsible for the Global and Diversity Fair.
The Flickinger Arts Center has remained a vibrant hub for creativity and artistic expression. A hallmark of the KUA experience is a schedule that allows students involved in other activities and athletics to also participate in the arts. The theatre department produces a fall play and a winter musical, and the cast and crew of the musical have performed in England at London-area prep schools. An annual New York City trip offers students the opportunity to attend Broadway shows and visit museums. Arts Department March break trips have been offered to France, Italy, and Greece. Throughout the year, dancers, artists, and musicians grace the stage with jazz and classical performances, dance and a cappella concerts, and exhibit their art and ceramics in the Taylor Gallery and the halls of Flickinger. A KUA-sponsored community chorus is open to students and faculty as well singers from the local community. The Fall 2011 production of Romeo and Juliet.
Director of Health Services for over 30 years, Jim Ouellette continues to work part-time The Fire Brigade continues to be an important community service. at KUA after his retirement in 2011.
KUA’s Real World Design Challenge State Championship STEM Team, recognized by New Hampshire Governor Lynch in 2012.
Sue Halliday led seven NEPSAC Champion teams between 1999 and 2009.
Eileen Williams has led four basketball teams to NEPSAC Championships and four basketball and three softball teams to Lakes Region Championships since 1999.
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Athletics Kimball Union athletes and coaches have maintained their reputation for quality and sportsmanship under Schafer’s leadership. There have been many Lakes Region and NEPSAC championship teams in the traditional school sports such as field hockey, soccer, ice hockey, and basketball, and many successful individual athletes competing in cross country running, alpine and Nordic skiing, and cycling. New offerings including golf, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, and non-competitive equestrian have been added. During the winter of 2010–11, KUA celebrated 100 Years of Hockey—75 years for boys and 25 years for girls. It was a memorable occasion for both the current teams and returning alumni and their families with games and a celebratory dinner attended by over 300 people. One of the most difficult decisions of the decade was discontinuing the football program in 2011. In a letter to the community, Schafer explained, “. . . football is in severe decline, despite our significant investment in the program and our recent competitive successes . . . There is no doubt that the long and historic legacy of football has left an indelible mark on generations of young men. . . Football will always be an integral part of Kimball Union’s history.”
Students show school spirit on Pope Field.
The men’s alumni teams at the 100th anniversary of hockey at Kimball Union.
Assistant Head of School Joe Williams joined Kimball Union in 1997.
Sustainability Through the school’s developing environmental program, today’s KUA students have increasing opportunities to take courses concentrating on various aspects of sustainability. Experiential learning opportunities are available in the greenhouse, the campus fields, and Snow Mountain, and through environmental club projects.
— Mike Schafer Endorsed by the board of trustees, KUA set a sustainability goal to become carbon-neutral by 2030. Between 2009 and 2012, KUA had achieved one third of this goal. The school adopted a multi-pronged approach to ensure success. Awareness raising within the school community has increased recycling and energy reduction, modern heating and lighting systems are gradually replacing the old, new construction and renovation is being done to the highest environmental standards, and non-fossil fuel sources are being explored.
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“As we enter our third century, sustainability at KUA extends far beyond Environmental Sciences classes and recycling bins. It is one of our core values and informs our strategy for the future and our responsibility as educators and citizens to the global community.”
A Sense of Place
Barrette Campus Center.
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One of the biggest challenges of the era came in 2004, when a proposed housing development threatened to change the campus irrevocably. With the support of a group of dedicated trustees and alumni, the Academy purchased a portion of the property, including the Duncan House and 26 acres of land along the southeast boundary of the campus. A substantial gift from John Pope ’49 helped to fund the acquisition that included a joint-use agreement of the school’s Brewster Guest House, which was renamed Dad’s House at Pope’s request. Following significant renovation and restoration, the Popes later donated Dad’s House to Kimball Union. A second significant donation from Mr. Pope helped to launch the Campus Master Plan in 2006. The cornerstone of the gift was a state-of-the-art lighted artificial turf field, Pope Field, and the expansion of Powers Field. It also paved the way for the lower field complex, a series of interconnected athletic fields. The school’s first major building initiative of the twenty-first century, the campus center, opened its doors in 2008. The project involved extensive renovations to Doe Dining Commons and building additions to the east and west, including its centerpiece, the two-story atrium “great room.” In 2012, the facility was named Barrette Campus Center in honor of the Barrette family for their longstanding philanthropic support and leadership.
In September 2010, Miller Bicentennial Hall, phase I of the renovation of the old Miller Student Center was dedicated. The new facility features 14 classrooms outfitted with state-of-the-art technology. One of the building’s most distinctive spaces is the Pacific Culture Room designed by Eric O’Leary ’67, which honors the cultures of Korea, Japan, and China. A new learning center commons and modern library is the next phase of the Miller renovation. The Barn, KUA’s new indoor field house, is scheduled to open in November 2012, providing students and community members with indoor practice space on indoor turf throughout the year. In addition to the new buildings, the campus has undergone extensive landscaping improvements and the addition of attractive hardscapes including the Carver Courtyard between Rowe House and Dexter Richards. Faculty homes and Munro House have been renovated, classrooms in Fitch outfitted with new technology, dormitories updated, and tennis courts restored. New faculty housing was added with the generous donation of Brewster House on Route 120 by the Barrette family, the rebuilding of MacLeay House, and the purchase of the 1813 House by a group of trustees and Gray House (Jim Gray ’66) on the hillside beyond the Stone Church and Munro House. The beautifully refurbished McCray Lobby in Flickinger Arts Center was officially dedicated to honor Susan and Kent McCray ’47 for their generosity and dedication. The Holstein Lounge in Doe Dining Commons was dedicated to past trustee Ed Holstein P’98 and his wife Marnie, in appreciation of their support. The Dining Commons was rechristened Doe Dining Commons in acknowledgement of a generous gift from the Doe family.
Pope Field dedication in 2006.
KUA’s Third Century Our bicentennial honors and celebrates dedicated students, committed faculty, supportive parents, and the integral successes and engagement of our loyal alumni—each and every one fundamental to our historic and ongoing success. The essence of Kimball Union is evidenced by more than our history, by more than our strength and durability. Our significance is not merely a collection of stories of our past and present accomplishments, or the articulation of our vision for the future. Quite simply, Kimball Union exists because of an unflagging commitment to all whom it serves and in the relevance and consistent execution of our mission—mastery, creativity, responsibility, and leadership. The refrain at Kimball Union’s centennial celebration in 1913 was, “Education is Always the Answer.” And so it is today as we proudly look back on our history and turn the page toward a new chapter in the contemporary era of twenty-first-century learning. The transformative power of education has been and always will be deeply embedded in our people, place, and purpose. Indeed, education still is the answer, ever more so in these changing times.
With our hearts in the past, a hand in the present, and our sights on the future, Kimball Union will endure and will continue to thrive, preparing today’s youth for the challenges of tomorrow. We thank you all for your part in our shared endeavor.
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True to the pioneering spirit of our founders and to their wisdom and foresight, the essence of Kimball Union today is embedded in the gift such an historic past affords. Owing to the many, the counted and the countless who have contributed to the pages that precede this prelude to the future, Kimball Union is both an historic, traditional school, built to last, and at the same time, a school that is built to change. Our bicentennial is both a celebration of our past and a call to our fundamental permanence, our Kimball Union forever.
Heads of School • Otis Hutchins 1815–1819 • John Luke Parkhurst 1819–1822 • Israel Newell 1822–1835 • Cyrus Smith Richards ’31 1835–1871 • John Ellsworth Goodrich 1871–1872 • Lewis Augustine Austin 1872–1875 • George Jotham Cummings ’65 1875–1880 • Marshall Richards Gaines 1880–1884 • David George Miller 1884–1890 • William Henry Cummings 1890–1900 • Ernest Roleston Woodbury 1900–1905 • Charles Alden Tracy ’93 1905–1935 • William Russell Brewster 1935–1952 • Frederick Eugene Carver 1952–1969 • John Pierce Cotton 1969–1974 • Thomas Michael Mikula 1974–1989 • Timothy Knox 1989–2003 • Michael J. Schafer 2003–present
Board of Trustees May 2012
Trustees Emeriti • Robert B. Kent ’39
• William A. Black ’85, Chair
• David Coffin ’44
• David Pond ’64, Vice Chair
• Thomas R. Flickinger ’50, P’77
• J. Roberts Snow ’85, Treasurer
• Allan Munro ’55, P’81,’83, ’11, ’13
• Kathryn Munro P’11, ’13, Secretary
• Jack H. Nelson ’63
• William Barker ’90
• Henry W. Parker ’41
• Michael Borislow P’07, ’10
• Frederick B. Whittemore ’49
• Peter Crowell ’95 • Jeffrey P. Cutts ’73, H’08, P’08 • Phil Deguire ’94 • Allan Ferguson • Robert Fitzgerald ’82 • Thomas L. Gosselin ’58, P’85 • Kris Graham P’09, ’15 • Timothy J. Herbert ’83, P’09, ’11, ’14 • Donald E. Lowery ’73 • Hans F. Olsen ’81 • G. Manning Rountree • Robin Schiltkamp P’12, ’16 • Edward H. Stansfield, III ’78, P’11 • Karin Cheung Travaglione ’93
To recognize faculty who have served the Academy for 25 years or more as of 2013. • Cyrus Smith Richards ’31 1835–1871
• George C. Akerstrom 1943–1978
• Stephen B. Bishop H’00 1963–2000
• Susan Halliday 1985–Present
• Chloe S. Miller ’85 1895–1921
• Ira P. Townsend ’38 1945–1985
• Georg Feichtinger H’02 1970–2002
• Sandy Ouellette 1985–Present
• Charles Alden Tracy ’93 1905–1935
• M. Lionel Mosher 1948–1970
• Jamyn M. Sheff 1973–1998
• Cynthia Howe 1988–Present
• Wayland R. Porter 1935–1965
• Carleton P. Jones ’37 1952–1980
• Michael Cloutman 1979–Present
• Murray Dewdney 1988–Present
• Frederick E. Carver 1936–1969
• Kenneth W. Cook 1955–1982
• Michael Taupier 1981–Present
• Henry H. Douglass 1937–1972
• George Prescott 1955–1989
• James Ouellette 1982–Present
Kimball Union Medal
To recognize outstanding work on behalf of the Academy by alumni, parents, and friends of Kimball Union. • 1984 David L. Coffin ’44
• 1993 Jack H. Nelson ’63
• 2003 Not awarded
• 1985 Frederick B. Whittemore ’49
• 1994 Not awarded
• 2004 Allan F. Munro ’55
• 1986 Hugh Cullman ’42
• 1995 Wilfred Kurth II ’50
• 2005 Not awarded
• 1987 Kisuk Cheung ’49
• 1996 Allen E. Howland ’40
• 2006 Not awarded
• 1988 Elva Mikula
• 1997 Ruth Wood Benfield ’22
• 2007 Not awarded
• 1988 John D. Pope ’49
• 1998 John C. McCrillis ’48
• 2008 Not awarded
• 1989 Thomas M. Mikula H’89
• 1999 Not awarded
• 2009 Jessie Carver English
• 1990 Ira P. Townsend ’38
• 2000 Duncan G. Ogden ’50
• 1991 Not awarded
• 2001 Not awarded
• 2010 Joan H’00 and Stephen Bishop H’00
• 1992 Thomas R. Flickinger ’50
• 2002 Not awarded
• 2011 Not awarded
Alumni Council Volunteer Award
To recognize significant service in advancing the educational interests of Kimball Union Academy through volunteer efforts. • 1987 Donald P. Herzig ’48, posthumously
Stanford B. Vincent ’53 Douglas N. Howe, Jr. ’63 Jennifer Kurth Borislow ’78
• 1992 • 1994 Ruth Wood Benfield ’22 Dorothy Lougee Tracy ’24 Daniel K. Poling ’27 Harold J. Deneault ’39 R. Wade Johnson ’42 Robert B. Kent ’39 Robert A. Faulkner ’47 Richard W. Naramore ’69 Harold R. Beacham ’52 Harry D. Robinson ’74 Meredith Judy Liben ’77 • 1995 • 1993 Duncan G. Ogden ’50 Richard H. Hersam ’23 Allan F. Munro ’55 Anthony W. Wishinski ’38 Paul B. Gardent ’65 Roger S. Pierce ’48 Peter M. Brown ’70 John C. McCrillis ‘48
• 1996 George Brett ’41 Stephen H. Bishop, Jr. ’56 • 1997 Bertha Martin Woodward ’32 Richard Sawyer ’37 Curtis Brockelman ’57 John D. Stowell ’57 • 1998 Duncan C. Brough ’38 James B. Taylor ’43 John S. Cizek ’48 • 1999 Charles Wilson ’39
• 2000 Wilbur W. Bullen, Jr. ’50 Ronald B. Harrison ’55 Kenneth P. Cardillo ’70
• 2006 Charles K. Mallett ’41
• 2001 Frederick N. Adams ’56
• 2008 John F. Baybutt ’73
• 2002 Wilson Boynton ’47 • 2003 James Miller ’48 • 2004 Donald Spear ’48 • 2005 Warren D. Huse ’55
• 2007 Francis H. Nolin Jr. ’57
• 2009 John Pope ’49 • 2010 Philip G. Chesley ’59 • 2011 Sarah Lummus ’81
Alumni Achiever’s Award
To recognize those outstanding alumni of Kimball Union who have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields. • 1984 W. James Hamlin ’15 Edward C. Hallock ’34 Robert B. Kent ’39 Hugh Cullman ’42 David L. Coffin ’44 Warren R. Guild, M.D. ’44 • 1985 Mary D. Burr ’14 Langdon Hockmeyer ’39 James A. Nassikas ’45 Kisuk Cheung ’49 Frederick B. Whittemore ’49 F. Lee Bailey ’50 • 1986 Dr. Ernest Everett Just ’03, posthumously Frederick H. Hermann ’42
• 1987 Mary Jane Hawes Wilmarth 1856, posthumously Norman F. Carver, Jr. ’45 Robert J. Shaw ’51
• 1992 Bertha Martin Woodward ’32 Charles P. Puksta ’42
• 1988 William Jewett Tucker 1857, posthumously Charles Ransom Miller 1867, posthumously Richard W. Withington ’37 Roger C. Brown ’53
• 1994 Charles Alden Tracy 1893, posthumously Henry W. Parker ’41
• 1991 Thomas S. Brown 1899, posthumously Charles F. Doe ’45
• 1993 Ralph D. Hough ’62
• 1995 Roland F. Pease ’40 • 1996 Edwin C. Rockwell, Jr. ’41 • 1997 Daniel K. Poling ’27 Ken Hakuta ’67
• 1998 Stanford B. Vincent ’53
• 2005 J. C. Boggs III ’80
• 1999 David Dean ’49
• 2006 John W. Kluge ’66
• 2000 Chester J. Robertson ’50 David R. Martin ’65
• 2007 Curtis F. Brockleman ’57
• 2001 Philip W. Porter ’46 Norman J. Turcotte ’61 • 2002 Meredith Judy Liben ’77 Kent McCray ’47 • 2003 Benjamin Atencio ’73 • 2004 Eugene Cenci ’59
• 2008 Jeffrey P. Cutts ’73 • 2009 Not awarded • 2010 Samuel Hopkins Willey 1840, posthumously David Alexander ’96 • 2011 Laura B. Trust ’85
In recognition of demonstrated concern for others, dedication to their sport, individual perseverance, skill as players or coaches, and a sense of fair play. They have won without boasting and lost without excuse. • 1994 Stephen Bishop H’00
• 1999 Robert J. Shaw ’51
• 2004 Not awarded
• 2009 Georg Feichtinger H’02
• 1995 Daniel Westgate ’36
• 2000 Donald Cahoon ’68
• 2005 Not awarded
• 1996 William J. Riley ’64
• 2001 George Akerstrom
• 2006 Roland E. Tremblay ’51
• 2010 Eileen Williams Barbara Bedford Miller ’90
• 1997 Henry H. Douglass
• 2002 John Donahue ’50
• 2007 Scott M. Gordon ’82
• 1998 Roy D. Simmons, Jr. ’54
• 2003 Susan Halliday
• 2008 Ira P. Townsend ’38
• 2011 Marissa O’Neil ’01
A commemorative book that celebrates the 200th anniversary of Kimball Union's founding by archivist Jane Fielder. 2013
Published on Sep 1, 2013
A commemorative book that celebrates the 200th anniversary of Kimball Union's founding by archivist Jane Fielder. 2013