The Alumni Association
I’m in the amazing position of having multiple perspectives on The Frederick Gunn School, which I have known for most of my life as The Gunnery. I see our school from the vantage point of a former faculty child, alumnae, spouse, and parent. It’s pretty awesome. And from that vantage point, I can tell you that although our name has changed, our school continues to be a community that stretches students to be their best selves, that allows them to make mistakes and helps them learn from them, that encourages them to try new things, that holds them accountable for their actions, and that challenges them to think and to participate.
The Frederick Gunn School embodies all of the best parts of "The Gunnery" of the last 169 years - they may be dusted off and shined up a bit, made more current, but they are truly unique to our history, and the vision and ideals of our founder. I have no doubt that Mr. Gunn is watching us from somewhere, thrilled that there is such a thing as “Fire Pit Fridays” where kids hang around a fire pit, listen to a classmate play the guitar, and enjoy each other and the outdoors. Another way Mr. Gunn’s values live on in the school of today is the Community Weekend programs introduced this fall based on the theme, “Live Like Fred.” From a star lecture on the Quad, led by science teacher Steve Bailey P’09 to night hikes at Steep Rock, watching the sunset from Beebe Boathouse, and camping in tents at South Street Fields, students were able to spend time together outside in the spirit of founder Frederick Gunn.
I tell you all this for a few reasons, one to reassure you that the DNA of your school has not changed and that is it is great hands. And two, to reinforce how important it is to The Frederick Gunn School to have engaged alumni like yourselves. Part of what makes schools like ours so special are the connections and stories that we all share. When our current students meet alumni who are proud of what they accomplished as students here, who reminisce with gratitude and joy, they realize they are part of something bigger than just the 300 students they are sharing the campus with today. Continuing to evolve as a school, while valuing and benefiting from its history is essential and your part in both the history and the future of The Frederick Gunn School is equally important.
Being an engaged alumnus can mean so many different things - for some of you it means rallying your classmates and friends back for a reunion, for others it means talking about our school, spreading the word about our school, and for others it means participating in the annual fund. I remind you that I would not be as involved in The Frederick Gunn School if I didn’t believe that it was the best representation of our "Gunnery" of the past. I thank you all for the parts that you’ve played in the history of our school and I challenge you to stay involved in its future as well.
Laura Eanes Martin ’90 P’20 ’23
President, Alumni Association Executive Committee