Centennial News & Stories

For 100 years, Concord Academy has cultivated the creativity to tackle challenges, the resilience to adapt to change, and the drive to make a difference in the world. Over the course of CA’s Centennial year, we will share stories that support CA’s mission and its longstanding values and traditions.

Concord Academy’s Centennial Celebration Energizes the CA Community

From June 9–11, more than 600 CA community members gathered at Concord Academy for the Centennial Celebration. It was a joyous party and a tribute to the power of a CA education. The festive weekend program included reunion class gatherings, panels, tours, and performances — it was truly an unprecedented opportunity for alums across generations to connect.

CA Centennial Speaker Series Spotlight: In Pursuit of Truth

CA Centennial Speaker Series Spotlight: In Pursuit of Truth

On June 10, four CA alums gathered in the Performing Arts Center for the panel “In Pursuit of Truth: A Conversation About Journalism and Democracy.” Award-winning journalists Julia Preston ’69, Richard Read ’75, Freddie Tunnard ’07, and Alexandra Berzon ’97 discussed the power of the press to make a social impact.
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CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: Improving the Human Condition Through Science

CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: Improving the Human Condition Through Science

On June 10, CA alums Lucy McFadden ’70, Peter de Blank ’92, Connor McCann ’14, and Gail Weinmann ’67 gathered for the Centennial Speaker Series discussion "Improving the Human Condition Through Science: Discovery for the Benefit of All." The science industry leaders spoke about how their work in research and engineering is making a positive impact on the lives of others.
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CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: The Power of Personal Stories

CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: The Power of Personal Stories

During the Centennial Celebration weekend, more than 400 attendees filled the Performing Arts Center for “The Power of Personal Stories." Critically acclaimed authors Drew Gilpin Faust ’64, David Michaelis ’75, and Imani Perry ’90 shared their perspectives as part of the Centennial Speaker Series panel moderated by Lucille Stott, author of CA’s Centennial book.
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CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: Designing for Resilience and Sustainability

CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: Designing for Resilience and Sustainability

During Concord Academy’s Centennial Celebration, one of several Centennial Speaker Series conversations, “Designing for Resilience and Sustainability: The Future is Up to Us,” took place under the tent. A discussion between environmental leaders Tony Patt ’83, Lisa Dreier ’85, and Sonia Lo ’84 addressed the climate crisis and envisioned more sustainable human systems.
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CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: Changing the Lens

CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: Changing the Lens

On June 10, Concord Academy hosted “Changing the Lens: Women in Entertainment Share Essential Perspectives” as part of the Centennial Celebration Speaker Series. Film and music industry leaders Natalia Winkelman ’11, Danielle Lee ’93, Rachel Morrison ’96, and Susanna Fogel ’98 discussed making meaningful media.
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CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: Making Change

CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: Making Change

On June 10 during Concord Academy’s Centennial Celebration, CA hosted one of several Centennial Speaker Series conversations, “Making Change: Leaders Discuss Empowering Communities and Social Progress,” in the Performing Arts Center. Alum leaders Lara Jordan James ’80, Tremaine Wright ’90, Dave Cavell ’02, and Catherine Gund ’83 discussed social progress through the lenses of education, culture, policy, and politics.
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CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: Creating Connection

CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: Creating Connection

On June 10, Concord Academy celebrated its creative legacy at “Creating Connection: Transforming Models of Art and Cultural Expression to Build Understanding” as part of the Centennial Celebration Speaker Series. Industry leaders Amy Spencer P’13, Emily Harney ’94, Julian Joslin ’05, and Zack Winokur ’07 discussed how the arts today are driving social change.
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CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: The Future of Education

CA Centennial Speakers Spotlight: The Future of Education

In the final conversation in the speaker series at CA’s Centennial Celebration, Concord Academy’s Head of School Henry Fairfax and researcher, policymaker, and strategist Turahn Dorsey ’89, formerly Boston’s Chief of Education, considered the future of education with the moderator, elementary school principal Trelane Clark ’92, P’22. Learn more: concordacademy.org/future-of-education/
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Down Memory Lane

Down Memory Lane

Between 2019 and 2022, former faculty member and author Lucille Stott spoke with more than 300 alums ranging from the class of 1938 to the class of 2025. Her book, Concord Academy at 100: Voices from the First Century, is a testament to the celebration of both individuality and community that guided CA throughout its first century and continues to animate the school today.
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Centennial Chapel Challenge Sets CA’s Second Century in Motion

Centennial Chapel Challenge Sets CA’s Second Century in Motion

Concord Academy couldn’t have picked a more beautiful fall day to host the Centennial Chapel Challenge. This October 15 event, one of several celebratory gatherings throughout CA’s 100th academic year, encouraged CA community members to get active together and celebrated the unique history of the Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel.
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Adnan Zubcevic ’75, 2022 Centennial Joan Shaw Herman Award Recipient, Finds in Treating Trauma a New Calling

Adnan Zubcevic ’75, 2022 Centennial Joan Shaw Herman Award Recipient, Finds in Treating Trauma a New Calling

During CA’s 100th birthday celebration in April, physician Adnan Zubcevic ’75 received the 2022 Centennial Joan Shaw Herman Award for his life’s work in support of immigrants and refugees. When he was a student at CA in his senior year, through the American Field Service, he little suspected that 20 years later he would return to Concord, Mass., fleeing the Bosnian War. In the Boston area, Zubcevic went on to launch many programs supporting immigrants and refugees, one of which has become a national model.
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The Story Behind CA’s Joan Shaw Herman Distinguished Service Award

The Story Behind CA’s Joan Shaw Herman Distinguished Service Award

On April 22, 2022—Concord Academy’s 100th birthday—the CA community will bestow the Centennial Joan Shaw Herman Distinguished Service Award. This award was first given to Joan Shaw Herman ’46 herself, posthumously, in 1976. Herman, who was paralyzed after contracting polio the summer after her graduation from CA, worked to improve the lives of other individuals with physical disabilities. Her story speaks to the power that resilience, generosity, and an enduring desire to make life better for others can have, and why this award is so important at Concord Academy.
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Rashaun Mitchell ’96, 2022 Centennial Hall Fellow, Exposes the Mechanics of Creation

Rashaun Mitchell ’96, 2022 Centennial Hall Fellow, Exposes the Mechanics of Creation

As the 2022 Centennial Hall Fellow, Rashaun Mitchell ’96, a dancer, choreographer, educator, and mentor, shared his artistry and life story at Concord Academy this spring. “I’m not working with narrative; I’m not working with music,” he said at a dance demonstration at CA. “We’re really trying to understand what is happening in the body when we’re dancing and how we can expose the mechanics of the creation.”
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CA Celebrates 100th Birthday with Centennial Days of Service and Sustainability

CA Celebrates 100th Birthday with Centennial Days of Service and Sustainability

On April 22 and 23, the CA community united in honor of Concord Academy’s 100th birthday. On this historic occasion, the Centennial Days of Service and Sustainability involved listening, learning, and taking action. The celebration extended beyond campus to include alumnae/i, parents, and friends of the school. Together over these two days, CA community members made a difference for others, and for our planet, in support of the commitment in CA’s mission to build a more just and sustainable future.
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CA Students Get Involved in Supporting CA’s Sustainability Plan

CA Students Get Involved in Supporting CA’s Sustainability Plan

Concord Academy’s sustainability plan is among the first of its kind from independent schools in the Northeast. When it was released in the spring of 2019, little did the world know that within a year a pandemic would upend life around the globe. While CA pivoted, progress toward the targets that had been outlined nevertheless continued. The plan outlines four major areas of focus for CA: institutional staffing support, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, shifts to more sustainable dining and reducing food waste, and increasing the environmental sustainability of campus operations.
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CASA Students Lead Through Service

CASA Students Lead Through Service

Concord Academy Students in Action (CASA) is one of CA’s longest-running clubs, part of a longstanding tradition of community service passed on by previous generations, including an active CASA precursor, Volunteers in Action. This year, the co-heads of CASA—Christina Crowley ’23, Maggie Myslik ’22, Zoe Perlis ’22, and Nirantheri Vithiananthan ’22—approached their efforts with a fresh focus: providing meaningful service with a focus on ensuring that they are helping people in the ways they need to be helped.
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50 Years of Coeducation

50 Years of Coeducation

As Concord Academy nears its 100th birthday, now proudly inclusive of all genders, the school also marks half a century as a coed institution. In an excerpt from a forthcoming book commemorating CA’s Centennial, former faculty member and dean Lucille Stott reflects on this pivotal time in the school’s history.
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My Class Ring Eluded Me

My Class Ring Eluded Me

“Never the twain could meet for long, my senior ring and I; no matter what I tried, I couldn’t keep that small band of stainless steel with me,” writes Harry Breault ’16. After making a habit of losing his CA class ring, he replaced it with a chameleon tattoo.
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The Lore of the Rings

The Lore of the Rings

After Martha Leggat ’85 graduated from college, she and her close friend Jennifer Russell ’85 traveled to Australia and New Zealand to work as WWOOFers, farm hands hired through the nonprofit Willing Workers on Organic Farms (now called World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). While she worked, Leggat wore her Concord Academy class ring, as she always did.
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Happy 99th, CA!

Happy 99th, CA!

On April 22, Concord Academy celebrated the 99th anniversary of the school's founding with a birthday photo booth, doughnuts, messages of gratitude, and more.
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2021 Centennial Hall Fellow Mallika Chopra ’89 Grounds the CA Community in Living with Intention

2021 Centennial Hall Fellow Mallika Chopra ’89 Grounds the CA Community in Living with Intention

CA's 2021 Centennial Hall Fellow, entrepreneur, author, and public speaker Mallika Chopra ’89, spoke about her personal journey and her experience teaching meditation and speaking about living with intention, balance, and purpose. As part of the Centennial Hall Fellow series, she shared a brief meditative practice — a simple yet powerful tool for charting a course according to our deepest desires and values.
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Treasures from CA’s Archives

Treasures from CA’s Archives

The class of 1931 was “always a bit independent,” wrote Elizabeth Monroe Boggs ’31 when she donated her Concord Academy memorabilia to the school in 1994.
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Cartooning in the Chameleon

Cartooning in the Chameleon

In the 1950s, students took out advertisements in the school publication to boost their Red and Blue teams. Elizabeth “Ding” Hall Richardson ’55, daughter of former headmistress Elizabeth B. Hall, shared this ad for the Blues, which appeared in the 1955 Chameleon.
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CA Traditions Over The Years

Chapel Talks

One of CA’s most beloved traditions, chapels give seniors the opportunity to share their stories with the campus community. In their current form, chapels often begin the school day with 15 minutes of anecdotes, reflections, songs, “senior advice,” and thanks to friends and family. As the steeple bell rings to usher everyone into the Chapel, a “hug line” forms down the left aisle and the senior stands on stage to hug community members. Upon entering the Chapel, students, faculty, and staff remain silent to give their undivided attention to the senior speaker.

May Day

Students would practice their dances for May Day beginning in December and would vote for a May Queen—a secret until the very day. Helen Smith Strong ’24 was Concord Academy’s first May Queen. She returned to celebrate CA’s 25th anniversary, when Mary Leigh Morse Houston ’47 was crowned as that year’s May Queen. The final May Day was held in 1961.

Saturday Picnics

These weekly outings for boarding students started in the earliest years of CA. Adventures included paddling on the Sudbury and Concord rivers, treks to Punkatasset Hill for swimming, skiing, or snowshoeing around Hutchins Pond, or excursions to Walden Pond. 

Red and Blue Day – Past

The yearlong intramural competition between the Reds and Blues, culminated with an afternoon of track and field events to determine the final winner of the coveted cup. Throughout the year, the two teams competed for points in field hockey, soccer, and baseball and spent the winter months practicing elaborate and secret synchronized marching routines. This tradition lapsed in the 1970s but was revived after 50 years.

Red and Blue Day – Present

On May 4, 2018, Concord Academy revived this once-beloved school tradition. Now students annually don red and blue and face off for friendly Field Day competition.

Senior Mug Signing

CA’s Chameleon takes a much-needed coffee break during Mug Day in 2015. For years, seniors have signed each other’s mugs as momentos.

Class Rings

In the 1930s and 1940s, each class designed its own CA ring. It’s unclear whether rings featured the chameleon throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, but the class of 1944 claims to have created the chameleon ring still in use today—a plain gold ring with a chameleon image etched in a recess of the rectangular top. Other classes admired the design and decided to make it official. Since at least the 1960s, students have worn the chameleon ring with the tail facing toward themselves until graduation, when they turn it to face the world.

If you look closely, you can see this student’s ring in the picture.

Chandler Bowl

This annual fall athletic challenge between Concord Academy and the Pingree School began in 1990 and is named in honor of John Chandler, a former Pingree head of school. Today the challenge includes a fundraising effort and is officially known as the Chandler Bowl for Changing Lives. Each year, the host school determines the organization that will benefit. In 2021, CA defeated Pingree in a day of tight competition, with funds going toward the Innocence Project.