Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Governor Dummer Academy Work Squad Efforts, Part 1

In the 1930s, the student body of Governor Dummer Academy participated in several campus improvement and maintenance projects that brought an outdoor wooden running track, a new skating rink, enlarged playing fields, and other additions to the academy. The laboring boys of the academy’s “Work Squad” can be seen, smiling and industrious, in several of the academy’s archival 16 mm films, as well as in photographs and articles in issues of The Archon now three-quarters of a century old (see below).

The June 20, 1936 issue of The Archon features a photograph of Dummer boys constructing the wooden track, accompanied by a brief commentary on the value of hard work and selflessness. The commentary, entitled “More Than An Education,” was submitted by one of The Archon’s Co-Editors at the time, Robert V. McMenimen.

McMenimen was a cum laude graduate of the Class of 1936 who captained the football team his Senior year and was involved in many committees and clubs. McMenimen’s commentary states the following:

“This year as in previous years the students of Governor Dummer Academy have shown a remarkable willingness to do their share in bringing about the completion of any task beneficial to the school. In the past the student body has been the main factor in constructing a drainage system for the athletic field, a hockey rink, and a board track. This year the boys’ aid in clearing snow from the paths and roads accounted for the speed with which this task was accomplished.

We hope that this spirit of student cooperation will continue to be a part of Governor Dummer for the years to come. It is truly a fine trait, and one that an ordinary education cannot instill within its students. Here at school the boys learn so thoroughly the imprudence of shirking work that in late life the desire to do a job well and completely will become a habit which is certain to prove an invaluable part of each boy’s character. We are proud of this spirit at Governor Dummer, for we sense it within us and realize that here we have gained something which is a long step toward success in the future. A man, not only willing but desirous of doing more than his share of labor, is one who will advance step by step in life until he has reached the culmination of his ambition, whatever it may be.”