77 Years of Founders’ Day at TA
On Friday, Feb. 7, with the celebration of TA’s 77th Founders’ Day, Thetford Academy will enter its third century .
TA’s Founders’ Day tradition began in 1944, two years after the original White Building was devastated by fire and with World War II raging across Europe. Then headmaster Carl Anderson hoped, that in this dark time for TA and the world, a celebration of Academy and its founders would raise the spirits of the school community.
Since then, Founders’ Day has become a beloved tradition at TA, serving as both a connection to the school’s history and a celebration of its present. The day always begins with a retelling of the school’s early history and a candle lighting ceremony honoring TA’s commitment to the values of faith, hope, dedication, knowledge, cooperation, courage, and responsibility.
From there, the day gets decidedly more raucous, silly, and competitive, becoming a series of contests between the Upper (11th and 12th grades), Middle (9th and 10th grades), and Lower Divisions (7th and 8th grades) of the school. All contests have a specific set of rules adhering to the chosen “theme” for the year. The class in each division who earns the most points throughout the day wins the title of Founders’ Day champion for the year.
Founders’ Day 2020’s contests will center around the theme of classic fairy tales. The 7th and 8th grades will represent “The Three Little Pigs” and “Rapunzel,” respectively. The 9th and 10th graders will tackle “Hansel and Gretel” and “Snow White.” The 11th graders and the seniors will cover “Beauty and the Beast” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.”
If you’ve never witnessed a TA Founders’ Day in action, alumnus Chico Eastridge ’05 produced a film last year that captures all the spirit and energy of the day’s traditions. Click here for the Founders’ Day YouTube video.
Founders’ Day, as always, will end with a community meal in the Vaughan Alumni Gymnasium. All students, faculty, and staff, alongside alumni, former faculty, trustees, and special guests–will sit down together for a shared banquet and celebration of the day…and another year of Thetford Academy.