Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Refreshing History at The Governor’s Academy

The Archives holds one of the earliest documents produced at the academy: A Catalog of Dummer School, a handwritten roster of the academy’s students between 1763 and 1830. Currently on display in the Pescosolido Library, A Catalog of Dummer School was begun by Joseph Mottey, a teacher at the academy between 1780 and 1783, and lists the names of numerous alumni who went on to significant achievement after leaving the Little Red School House. With a nod to the past and view toward posterity, Headmaster Marty Doggett and Dean of Freshmen Michael Delay recently summonsed members of the incoming Class of 2012 to the Little Red School House to document these students’ entry into the academy. Outside the Little Red School House, Mr. Doggett shared a bit of the history of the building and the academy with students (Images 1 and 2). Then, one by one, students entered the school house, shaking hands with the Headmaster and introducing themselves before sitting in the Reverend Samuel Moody’s chair to sign their names and hometowns in a leather-bound book (Images 3 and 4). Students then departed the school house, shaking hands with Mr. Delay (Image 5). The leather-bound book will be housed in The Governor’s Academy Archives. When the Class of 2012 graduates, its members will again pass, one by one, through the Little Red School House on their way around the Milestone to jump the wall. This ritual allows students to pay homage to the school’s long history, and importantly, to recognize their own contributions to it. It is hoped that this new practice will become an enduring Governor’s Academy tradition.

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