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.
Community Gathers for Groundbreaking of the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Center for Innovation and Active Citizenship
The community welcomed Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch ’72 to campus on June 18, 2022, for the official groundbreaking of the transformational building that will bear their names: the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Center for Innovation and Active Citizenship. Construction on the site of the 24,000-square-foot academic building, scheduled to open in fall 2023, has already begun, as the former Science Building, which opened in 1968, is being removed to make way for the new center.
On June 10, Ed Small, the Anne S. and Ogden D. Miller Senior Master, shared with Head of School Peter Becker that, after 45 years of teaching, coaching, dorm parenting, and advising at The Frederick Gunn School, he had made the decision to retire.
“Ed has been an integral part of our community for more than four decades,” Becker said. “He and Peg have impacted the lives of countless Gunn students and we will have the chance to celebrate his service next fall. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Ed on an epic teaching career and thanking him for his friendship and colleagueship over so many years.”
On May 30, the day following Commencement, rising sophomores, juniors and seniors gathered on the Glade and processed into the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center by class to mark the transition to the new school year at Investiture.
The Frederick Gunn School graduated 94 students, representing 14 states and 10 countries, in the Class of 2022 at its 172nd Commencement Exercises, held Sunday, May 29, 2022. The graduates were encouraged to be active and courageous citizens in the world by remaining true to themselves, by exercising their moral judgment, by embracing the outdoors, and by continuing to learn — all in the spirit of school founder, abolitionist, and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn.
Awards for academic excellence and other honors were presented to students at the annual Prize Night ceremony, held on May 28, 2022, under the tent on Edward Wersebe Memorial Field. Congratulations to all of the students honored this year:
The Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team beat both Canterbury and Pomfret in tournament play on May 21, becoming the 2022 Colonial Cup Champions.
“It was a total team effort, they needed each other to accomplish this,” said Athletic Director and Head Boys Lacrosse Coach Mike Marich P’23 ’24. “I was really proud of the way the guys handled themselves. They represented themselves, their families, and our school with class.”
On May 24, the community gathered for formal advisor dinner and the annual Baccalaureate Service, the first in a weeklong series of events designed to prepare for Commencement. Students and faculty gathered in the Tisch Family Auditorium for the service, which began with opening remarks delivered by Head of School Peter Becker and an invocation by Karoline Theobald P’09 ’14, whose husband, Rod Theobald P’09 ’14, a fellow member of the English Department faculty, delivered the Baccalaureate Address in 2021 upon his retirement from the school.
The school’s annual Co-Curricular Ceremony, held May 23, 2022, highlighted the athletic accomplishments of individual students in the fall, winter and spring. The event also celebrated Frederick Gunn's belief that character was developed and honed in co-curricular activities. “Athletics look very different today than it did back in his time but the lessons learned are largely the same,” said Mike Marich P’23 ’24, Athletic Director and Head Boys Lacrosse Coach.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, who received a combined 14 Halo High School Theater Award nominations this week, including nods for Best Musical, Best Chorus, and Best Performance By A Cast In An Ensemble Production.