Student Life

When you ask current students about their favorite time of the day on The Frederick Gunn School campus, they invariably talk about time spent with friends, whether they are hanging out in the dorm or creating their own fun outside. School days are busy. Students move from academic and co-curricular commitments to dinner and evening study hall. But there are opportunities for friends to gather throughout the day. It might be grabbing a table together for lunch in the dining hall, hosting a movie night in your dorm room, or meeting up for an impromptu baseball game on the Quad, spikeball on the turf, or sledding on the hill behind Teddy House in winter.

Weekend activities include Open Skate and Open Hockey times at Linen Rink, trips to the Danbury Fair Mall and other local shopping centers, movie theaters, and area restaurants as well as the ever-popular Arethusa Farm Dairy for ice cream. Sign-ups are available for excursions to try bowling or visit a trampoline park, and some weekends are just good for sleeping in and going to brunch in the dining hall, where chocolate chip waffles and a fruit and yogurt bar are usually on offer. Students can also take advantage of dances, the fitness center, open gym times, seasonal activities (carve your own pumpkin, anyone?), movie screenings and guest performances right on campus, and cheer their fellow Highlanders at home.

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Student Life News

174th Commencement to be Held May 26

On Sunday, May 26, 2024, The Frederick Gunn School will celebrate the Class of 2024 at its 174th Commencement Exercises. This year, 93 students, representing 17 states and seven countries, will graduate from the school, founded in 1850 by Frederick Gunn, a pioneering educator, courageous abolitionist, and rugged outdoorsman, who is recognized by the American Camp Association as the founder of recreational camping in the United States.


The Frederick Gunn School Music Program will present a spring concert featuring String Ensemble, Vocal Ensemble, Jazz Band and special guests under the direction of Ron Castonguay P’27, Director of the Arts and Music Director. Family, friends and the community are invited to attend the performance one night only, Wednesday, May 15, at 7 p.m., in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. The concert is free with general admission seating. No registration is required. 

Girls Varsity Rowing

The Frederick Gunn School will host the 64th annual Founders Day Regatta at Lake Waramaug on Sunday, May 5, 2024. Morning heats will begin at 9 a.m., with the last morning race at 11:15 a.m. Racing will resume at 12:15 p.m. following lunch, and will conclude by 2 p.m. Alumni, current students, families, faculty, and friends are welcome to cheer on Gunn Rowing at the finish line, located at Lake Waramaug State Park in Kent. 

Lizzie Ribbon-Cutting_Lead Donors

On April 27, The Frederick Gunn School community celebrated Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch ’72 and 13 other generous donors, many of whom were in attendance, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Lizzie & Jonathan Tisch Center for Innovation & Active Citizenship. Students and faculty were joined on the Quad for the celebration by Trustees, alumni, parents, and friends of the school, to acknowledge and thank all those who helped to make this transformational new building possible. 

Silver Breath_Cleve Gray

A retrospective exhibition, "Cleve Gray: Towards an Art of Hope," opened April 10 in the Perakos Family Cares Art Gallery at The Frederick Gunn School, featuring works by American Abstract Expressionist painter Cleve Gray.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, April 25, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the gallery, which is located in the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center on campus. The gallery is open to the public free of charge, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is available in the Upper Parking Lot off Kirby Road, with a limited number of accessible parking spaces outside the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. Please see the Campus Map for details.

Adam Farber '00 Speaker Series 032224

U.S. Navy Commander Adam Farber ’00, who trained and served as an instructor in the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapon School (TOPGUN), returned to campus March 22 as part of the school’s 2023-24 Speaker Series and shared with students and faculty his “fighter rules to live by.”

A native of New Jersey, Farber’s dream from a young age was to fly an F-14 Tomcat, the supersonic, twin-engine fighter aircraft featured in the 1986 film, “Top Gun.” He didn’t get into the U.S. Naval Academy on his first try, and at the age of 18, enrolled at The Frederick Gunn School for a postgraduate year.

Gunn Music students Aryel Sealey, Stella Zhu and Colin Hall

Three students from the Gunn Music Program will perform at the Connecticut Music Educators Association’s All-State Music Festival being held this weekend, April 4-6, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. The students were selected by audition after qualifying for the CMEA Northern Region Festival in February. 

Peg Addicks

The Frederick Gunn School student group Hearts for Action is supporting an American Red Cross Blood Drive on April 14, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center on campus. Qualified students, faculty, parents, and community members are all invited and encouraged to participate in this annual event, honoring the late Margaret P. Addicks for her 45 years of service to the school and the Town of Washington. Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are strongly encouraged. Please use the link below to schedule an appointment online. 

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