Kent School - Kent Yearbook (Kent, CT)

 - Class of 1936

Page 10 of 200


Kent School - Kent Yearbook (Kent, CT) online yearbook collection, 1936 Edition, Page 10 of 200
Page 10 of 200

Kent School - Kent Yearbook (Kent, CT) online yearbook collection, 1936 Edition, Page 9
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Kent School - Kent Yearbook (Kent, CT) online yearbook collection, 1936 Edition, Page 11
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Page 10 text:

TH E KENT SCHOOL i The School was small at first but grew rapidly. Its location was changed in the spring of the first year to the present site. The School almost doubled in size the next year, filling the new quarters to capacity again. The new building was also inconvenient and cold in the winter, but the atmosphere of the School remained cheerful and hearty. Religion then as now was an integral part of the School life, and the boys at first walked two miles every Sunday to attend the Church in town. Toward the latter end of the second year an old woodshed was remodeled to become the first School Chapel. Before the beginning of the fourth year the old Main Building was enlarged to its present size. The new structure had room for seventy boys and for a sufiicient number of classrooms. An old shed at the open end of the Quad was converted into a precautionary Infirmary, although the School was Halarmingly healthyi' in Doctor Barnum's words. The Farm, now boasting one of the finest dairies in Vonnecticut, was begun this year, providing the School with potatoes, milk, and fresh vegetables as well as another outlet for the successful Self-Help system. A new building. the North Building, was being erected along the river bank when a hundred and six boys came for the seventh year, but it was untenable as yet. and many started the year in the Cottage, now Mr. Loomis's house, and some few even overflowed into the Old Town House. The Faculty had by this time increased from the original three, now numbering twelve men, including Mr. 1Villiam V. Hall, the first Kent Alumnus to become a master. The School slackened off from its first rapid growth, but by 1917 there were a hundred and thirty-seven boys at Kent, and the Field House was begun with lockers for visiting teams, and rooms and dormitories above. In 1919 the present Study Hall was built. lt was in the same style as the Main Building and North Building, and was placed at one end and at right angles to this latter. It was during this year that the School was first visualized in approximately its present form, and a drive was started to raise 5li250,000.00, the most immediate objectives being a new Dining Hall and a new and larger Infirmary. The drive was not successful at once, but when the School began its fifteenth year 380,000.00 had been raised. The first use of this fund was made two years later when the Farm was moved to its present site in Macedonia Valley, near the School. A farmer's cottage was built, and a ereamery and modern equipment for milk production were also sup- plied. Where the Farm had stood a new brick Colonial Infirmary of more ade- quate proportions was built. Father Sill began this same year his Twentieth Anniversary Fund drive. In the spring of IQQ4 work was begun 011 the new Dining IIall a11d it was completed early in April the next year. Not only was the Dining Hall spacious Page four

Page 9 text:

Thirty Years at Kent A Tribute to Father Frederick Herbert Sill, U.H.C. T HAS always been an accepted fact with us since our Second Form year that we are the thirty year class, and that our graduation marks the end of a generation in the life of Kent School. What does this mean, "the end of a generation"? It means a good deal. Kent is now recognized as one of the more outstanding schools of this country. It is known everywhere here, and in many places abroad. It has already built up a reputation vying with those of older schools, and comparing more than favorably with most. Thirty years: that is a short time to take from the life of a good many schools, yet it is the whole of Kent's life. And in those thirty years Kent has started from scratch and risen to a size predetermined as its ideal, an enroll- ment of three hundred. In seven years there were a hundred and six boys at Kent, and now many more boys have applied for admission next year than can possibly be accepted. All this in thirty years: what does it mean? It is true that Kent has a wide reputation, but the mention of its name is always linked with that of its founder and Headmaster, Father Frederick Herbert Sill, 0.H.C. Without him Kent would never have existed, and it is a safe state- ment to make that no other man by his own efforts could have built it up to its present standard in a short thirty years. Kent grew rapidly. It started with but eighteen boys and three masters besides the Headmaster, and reached its maximum enrollment three years ago. We can trace the development of the School, and through it all can we see Father Sill's guiding genius, but it is beyond our capacities, perhaps beyond any capacity, to show clearly all those qualities of his which have made his School as well as himself outstanding figures in an overcrowded field. It is easy to say "He has a fine understanding of human character, especially of the adolescent mind", or, "He is a brilliant organizer and director." There is an infinity of such statements, true in themselves, but superficial. It is not qualities thatycan be named and numbered that constitute Father Sill's greatness, but something that runs deeper, and is genius. We can do no better than to make the history of the School itself the history of Father Sill, and the ultimate and truest tribute to him. Kent was visualized first when Father Sill was still at Columbia University. He and his roommate, "Hank" Littell talked over plans for a school of its type and he never forgot them. He joined the Order of the Holy Cross, and it was not long before he obtained permission from Father Huntington to organize the school which is Kent. Eighteen boys and three masters started the School year in September, 1906. It was a struggle. The School building was full of incon- veniences and cold during the hard winter. But difficulties only bound the School together the more, and those first boys set down the standards of loyalty and cheerful co-operation which still persist. Page thrcc

Page 11 text:

TEAR BOOK 1936 enough to accommodate the School comfortably, but the building also provided rooms for the help, and additional rooms for the boys. Plans were again pushed for the enlarging of the School plant and this time came to fruition when the new Norman Chapel and North Dormitory were begun in the spring of 1930. Both were completed and used before a year had passed and were decided and permanent improvements to Kent. In l93Q a record enrollment of two hundred and ninety-eight students was reached, and since then the mark of two hundred and ninety-nine has been main- tained, the Headmaster wisely refusing to allow the School to grow above three hundred. The School was brought to its present status as regards buildings with the erection of the Sports Building in 1934, the gift of the Fathers' Association. The debt incurred in erecting the other buildings was erased for good this fall when the long term mortgage was paid off. For the first time in its history the School is in a completely solvent state with no debts. If this history has concerned itself mainly with the physical aspects of the growth of Kent School, it is because the rest is too subtle to be caught directly, and may better be inferred from the actual accomplishments rather than from any amount of direct explanation. The whole-hearted enthusiasm of Kent's begin- ning persists now, and we have tried to catch it in these pages, and. in expressing the forms of Kent life we hope to have conveyed some of its Havor. Concisely, the part we wish to bring out most is Father Sill. Without him Kent would be just another school. With him it is Kent, a statement that speaks for itself. And Father Sill is Kent. Thirty years have come and gone. One son of an Alumnus has already grad- uated, another is to graduate this year, and there are many more now in the lower Forms. We pause at the end of the first generation to consider the accomplish- ments of those thirty years, and more and more we must realize that Father Sill has effected whatever of value has been accomplished. The School has built up a reputation already, but this speaks not so much of the School as it does of Father Sill. He has seen the School progress rapidly and become famous. Another might have been content to rest on laurels earned, but Father Sill has never ceased his endeavor to better the School. Taking as a standard a motto of Doctor Arnold of Rugby he has lived up to its fullest implications-"Aim at success, but never think you are successfulf, We cannot adequately express the debt we owe to Father Sill. He has meant to us the best part of our lives at Kent, never failing to help or advise us when we needed aid, and going out of his way to make inti- mate personal friends of us all. It is with the deepest sense of respect for him and of gratitude for what he has meant to us, and more particularly to Kent School that we, the Thirtieth Anniversary class, dedicate this chronicle of Kent's thirtieth year to its founder and Headmaster, Father Frederick Herbert Sill, 0.H.C. Page fue

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