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.

Student Life News

ead of School Peter Becker delivers the welcome address at Convocation in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perako

The entire community gathered together in person for Convocation on September 11, formally marking the beginning of our 172nd year as a school. “A new year in a boarding school is an incredible opportunity to recreate our community based on our history, our mission, and our Core Values,” Head of School Peter Becker said in his welcome address. “It is the same as when Mr. and Mrs. Gunn welcomed about 12 students into their home in 1850 to create a learning community – a learning ecosystem –  out of the diverse group of people living and learning in close proximity to each other.”

Poster for "Almost, Maine"

This past weekend The Frederick Gunn School Drama Society brought home three Halo Awards for this spring’s production of “Almost, Maine,” a romantic comedy written by John Cariani. The awards, which honor high school students’ achievements in all aspects of theatre, were presented by Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury via YouTube on July 10. The cast and crew of “Almost, Maine,” earned a total of seven nominations. Congratulations to our 2021 Halo Award winners!

Drew and  Audrey in "Almost, Maine"

Congratulations to the cast and crew of “Almost, Maine,” who garnered a total of seven Halo Award nominations. Presented annually, the Halo Awards celebrate the best in Connecticut high school theater. This year’s Halo Awards will be presented virtually on Saturday, July 10, at 7 p.m. Tickets are free and may be reserved online through Seven Angels Theatre. You must register in advance to view the online awards presentation.

Maynard Webb '74

The Alumni & Development Office officially inducted the Class of 2021 into the Alumni Association at the annual Senior Dinner on May 28. The 87 seniors are the first to be inducted as graduates of The Frederick Gunn School, following the name change last July honoring founder Frederick Gunn, noted Sean Brown P’22, Chief Development Officer. It seemed fitting, then, that Maynard Webb ’74, an alumnus who has modeled Mr. Gunn’s entrepreneurial spirit throughout his career, was selected as the keynote speaker for the event. A 40-year veteran of the technology industry, Webb serves as a board member, investor, philanthropist and mentor to young entrepreneurs. He spoke to the graduating class about his business experience, the importance of mentorship, and taking risks.

Varsity Baseball vs. Millbrook April 17, 2021

Student-athletes were honored at School Meeting on May 28, when Athletic Director Mike Marich P’23 ’24 presented the spring team awards in the Tisch Family Auditorium. “Mr. Gunn knew that character was developed and honed in co-curricular activities. Athletics may look very different today than it did back in his time but the lessons learned are largely the same – lessons like, hard work, confidence, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship, trust, and being part of something bigger than yourself. It is my hope that all of you experienced many of those lessons in your athletic experiences,” Marich said, congratulating all of this year’s award recipients.

The Frederick Gunn School flag

On May 31, one day after the school celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2021, underclassmen and faculty gathered for Investiture, during which the new student leaders, including the Prefect-Elects, are introduced. 

This year’s Investiture service was notable in that it featured the presentation of underclassmen prizes and awards that in a traditional year would have been awarded when the whole school gathered for Prize Night. To view the Investiture service in its entirety, including the presentation of these awards, visit the End-of-Year Events page.

English Department faculty

Roderick M. Theobald P’09 ’14 of the English Department faculty delivered the Baccalaureate Address on May 25, using his backpack as a metaphor for memory, as he spoke about the "picture memories" that ground us and guide us forward through life. Theobald is retiring at the end of this month, after four decades of teaching, including 23 years at The Frederick Gunn School. In keeping with tradition, as the Baccalaureate speaker he selected the readings for the all-school program, which included the Walt Whitman poem, “I Hear America Singing,” read by Ed Surjan, Educational Technology and Library Director, and Mary Oliver’s poem “Wild Geese,” read by Kara Gritti of the History Department faculty. Theobald also selected a piece of music, “The Road Home,” by Stephen Paulus, which was performed by four senior vocalists: Erin-Elizabeth Ryan ’21, Drew Sutherland ’21, Yolanda Wang ’21, and Maggie Xiang ’21.

The Teddy National

Students have been taking advantage of the school’s outdoor spaces this spring, whether fishing off the dock at Beebe Boathouse, working in the school’s gardens, playing Spikeball or volleyball on the Koven-Jones Glade, or gazing at the stars on the turf field. After classes, you might even see a few students playing a quick round of golf at Teddy National.

Living with Friends

Getting Involved 

Weekend Activities

Health and Wellness

Dining at FGS

Community Traditions

For New Students