The Governor's Academy

The Governor's Academy
The Governor's Academy
Non Sibi Sed Aliis
Not for self, but for others
Type Private, boarding
Religious affiliation(s) none
Established 1763
Headmaster Peter H. Quimby '85, Ph.D.

city = Byfield

Enrollment 385

tuition = Boarding: $46,280, Day: $36,620 in 2011-2012

Average class size 12
Student to teacher ratio 5:1
Campus 450 acres (1.8 km2)
Color(s) Cardinal Red and White         
Athletics conference Independent School League
Average SAT scores 1870  (2011)

The Governor's Academy (formerly Governor Dummer Academy) is an independent school located on 450 acres (1.8 km2) in the village of Byfield, Massachusetts, United States (town of Newbury); 33 miles (53 km) north of Boston. The Academy enrolls approximately 385 students in grades nine through twelve, 70% of whom are boarders. The school was established in 1763 being the oldest continuously-operating independent boarding school in the nation.[1]



Students study in small classes, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 5-1. AP (Advanced Placement) courses are offered in nearly 20 subjects, from mathematics and science to art, foreign languages, English and history. Nearly 120 students took AP exams last year, with 85% earning a score of 3 or higher, and 60% earning scores of 4 or 5. Foreign language classes are offered in Chinese, French, Spanish, German and Latin. Eighty-five percent of faculty live on campus and serve as dorm parents and coaches as well as classroom teachers. More than 60% have advanced degrees, with several having earned terminal degrees in science, law, education and medicine. The


The Academy boasts a long and storied athletics tradition and is a member of the Independent School League. The school fields 23 varsity teams and 47 interscholastic teams. There are three levels of interscholastic competition offered at The Governor's Academy: varsity, junior varsity, and thirds.

2004 - Football ISL Champs

2005 - Football ISL Champs

2006 - Girls Soccer ISL Champions

2006 - Softball ISL Champions

2007-2008 - Girls Ice Hockey New England Champions

2008 - Boys Lacrosse ISL Champions (undefeated)

2008 - Girls Softball ISL Champions

2008 - Golf ISL Champions

2008 - Girls Cross Country ISL and New England Champions

2008-2009 - Girls Ice Hockey New England Champions

2009 - Boys lacrosse Tri-ISL Champions

2009 - Field Hockey New England Champions

2009 - Girls Cross Country New England Champions

2009 - 2010 Girls Ice Hockey New England Champions

2010-2011 - Girls Ice Hockey New England Champions

2011 - Boys Lacrosse ISL Champions (undefeated)

2011 - Girls Softball ISL Champions


Programs in visual and performing arts are offered in the Kaiser Art Center and the Performing Arts Center. Kaiser has studios for photography and film, ceramics, drawing, painting and design. The PAC has a 500-seat auditorium/theater, a black box, an art gallery, and a complete workshop for technical theater. The Academy has performed exceedingly well in recent Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards competition, ranking first in total awards in 2010 and second in 2011.


The school was founded two years after the death of William Dummer, who funded it in his will. Dummer had been lieutenant governor and acting governor of Massachusetts for many years, and led the colony through a difficult period in the earlier 18th century: fighting off forays by "French & Indians" during what became known as "Dummer's War" in the 1720s. He also served as an early Overseer of Harvard College. He was from a prominent colonial family with his brother Jeremiah Dummer having been a principal founding benefactor of the College of New Haven which later became Yale University. As the Boston Latin School only accepted students from the city of Boston, the need arose for schools in more outlying areas to prepare students for college—the only ones existing at that time in New England being Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, and Brown. In that context, the Dummer Charity School or Dummer Grammar School commenced operation in 1763 pursuant to the will of Governor Dummer with Samuel Moody as its first headmaster. In 1782, the Dummer school was officially incorporated as The Dummer Academy, whose graduates in this era comprised approximately 25% of the undergraduate student body at Harvard. It should be noted, however, that most children in this era were home-schooled with pre-college education ending around the age of 14; with youths thereafter going on to college or entering the workforce. Thus most college freshmen tended to be the age of high school freshmen today.

As was the custom, the curriculum in this era focused primarily on the study of Scripture, basic math and English and, most importantly, instruction in Latin, Greek, and the Classics. The curriculum broadened over time as the requirements of college admission expanded. Although the academy initially operated in a one room schoolhouse which still stands to this day, it had access to the grand mansion of the late governor, that remains a central fixture on the campus as the headmaster's residence. Over time other structures were built and the faculty and curriculum expanded so that by the time of the school's centennial in 1863, the Dummer Academy had grown into a well known 19th century prep school that catered mostly to children from affluent families who aspired to the Ivy League. By the turn of the 20th Century, however, the school had fallen on hard times, with enrollment and income down, as the school struggled under the shadow of Exeter, Andover, and other schools that had grown to become very well known and prestigious. It was in this context that Dr. Charles Ingham became headmaster in 1908, launching great efforts to revive the Academy. As a result, Dummer Academy became stabilized, and began to again thrive as a premier New England prep school that sent over a third of its graduates to Ivy League colleges during that period. Upon Dr. Ingham's retirement in 1930, Edward "Ted" Eames became headmaster, a post he held for 30 years. Early in Master Eames' tenure, the name of the school was changed to the Governor Dummer Academy, a title it retained until 2006.

Over the years, the school's name has been entwined with those of many famous people. Paul Revere created the first seal for the school; John Quincy Adams served as secretary to the Board of Trustees; Theophilus Parsons, a Chief Justice of Massachusetts and author of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, attended the Academy; Samuel Phillips, Jr., founder of Phillips Academy, Andover graduated in 1771; Captain Edward Preble, commander of the USS Constitution and a hero of the Barbary Wars, studied there; Booker T. Washington Jr. (son of Booker T. Washington) starred on the football team in the early 1900s; Yu Gil-jun, a famous social reformer and the first Korean to study in the West, attended the school. Henry Durant, a founder of the University of California and its first president, and later an early mayor of Oakland, served as headmaster of the Dummer Academy from 1849-1852.

With some exceptions, the school primarily was open only to boys until coeducation was established in 1972.

Name change

In December 2005, the Board of Trustees voted to change the name of the Academy to "The Governor's Academy" amid concerns that the name "Dummer" was deterring prospective students from applying. Legally the name remains "Governor Dummer Academy," doing business as "The Governor's Academy." When founded, the Academy was named "Dummer Charity School." Subsequently, the name was changed to the "Dummer Academy", which name it was known by for a century and a half.

The decision to change met with resistance from some students and alumni, and attracted media attention from around the country. Those who promoted the change saw it as one of a number of ways to expand the geographic representation and the overall appeal of the school, especially to those who were not familiar with the school or its history. The name change took effect on July 1, 2006.[1]. In 2010-2011, the Academy set records for admissions inquiries, interviews and applications, thus supporting the decision that the name change would enhance institutional marketing efforts.

Notable alumni

  • Samuel Phillips (1771), founder of Phillips Academy Andover
  • Eliphalet Pearson (1769), first headmaster of Phillips Andover, interim President of Harvard University, 1804-1806.
  • Theophilus Parsons (1765), former Chief Justice of Massachusetts
  • Samuel Tenney, scholar, judge, physician/surgeon who treated wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill, attached to the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, encamped at Valley Forge, PA, designated acting Surgeon General of the Army by General Washington, delegate to New Hampshire's Constitutional Convention, U.S. Congressman.
  • Rufus King (1773) delegate to Constitutional Convention, United States Senator and 1816 Federalist candidate for President.
  • Samuel Sewall (congressman) (1772), U.S. Congressman, Chief Justice of Massachusetts
  • Edward Preble (1776), U.S. Naval officer during Revolutionary War and thereafter, commanded USS Constitution during war with Barbary Pirates.
  • Benjamin Pickman, Jr. (1780), Mass. state legislator, U.S. Congressman
  • Sir David Ochterlony American "Tory" officer in the British Army who served in India from 1777 until his death in 1825, rising to the rank of general while helping to consolidate British colonial rule there.
  • Tobias Lear (1779), personal secretary to George Washington
  • Samuel Osgood (1776), first U.S. Postmaster, Speaker New York State Assembly; first President, City Bank of New York
  • Joseph Willard, President of Harvard University (1781–1804)
  • Samuel Webber, President of Harvard University (1806–1810)
  • Parker Cleaveland (1795), professor of mineralogy at Bowdoin College, leading early American authority on this subject known the "Father of American Mineralogy"
  • Otis Phillips Lord (1828), Speaker of Mass. House; Justice, Mass. Supreme Judicial Court
  • Benjamin Apthorp Gould (the Elder)(circa 1803), principal of Boston Latin School and father of the astronomer of the same name.
  • Frederick W. Lander, Brig. Gen. USA, killed in action during the Civil War.
  • John W. Candler, member of Congress from Mass during the 1880s.
  • George Bancroft Griffith (1858), poet
  • Benjamin Perley Poore, journalist, newspaper editor and founder of the Gridiron Club.
  • Edward S. Griffing (1885), corporate lawyer, mayor of New Rochelle, NY.
  • Rev. Winthrop Peabody, Anglican churchman, missionary to Alaska.
  • Frank Crowe, (1901) civil engineer and dam builder (Hoover Dam, Shasta Dam) [2]
  • Leonard M. Fowle (1924), sports writer for the Boston Globe and amateur sailor for whom the Leonard M. Fowle trophy is named.
  • James T. McClellan (1928), sculptor.
  • William Summer Johnson (1932), professor of chemistry at Stanford who was awarded the National Medal of Science.
  • Benjamin A. Smith II (1935), U.S. Senator from Mass., 1960-62.
  • Daniel Hanley (1935), chief physician for U.S. Olympic team, 1964-72.
  • John W. Frost (1939), national accounts manager, Stanley Tools
  • Joe Hoague (1937), professional football player, Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Henry M. Sanders (1947), mayor of Darien, CT (1991–1997).
  • Michael B. Smith (1954), Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Ambassador to GATT.
  • Dana Atchley (1959), pioneer of Digital Storytelling
  • R. Danforth Ogg, Jr. (1968), former mayor of Kodiak, Alaska and state legislator.
  • Jeb Bradley (1970), U.S. Congressman, 2003–2007; N.H. State Senator 2009-
  • Jonathan B. Imber (1970), Professor of Sociology and Dept. Chair, Wellesley College
  • Michael Mulligan (1971), Headmaster, The Thacher School
  • Elaine Salloway (1977) international marketing executive.
  • Andre LaFleur (1986) Professional basketball player, Houston Rockets all time leader NCAA assists at Northeastern
  • Steve Bucknall (1985) Professional basketball player, LA Lakers
  • Dan Gadzuric (1998) professional basketball player, Golden State Warriors.
  • Nat Baldwin (1999) bassist for indie rock collective Dirty Projectors and solo artist
  • Benn Ferriero (2004) professional hockey player, San Jose Sharks
  • Robert Francois (2004) professional football player, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl champion 2010-11
  • JJ Morrissey (2002) professional lacrosse player. Three sport athlete at Governor's, and won the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship at the University of Virginia.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "F.T. Crowe Dead, Built 19 U.S. Dams", New York Times, February 28, 1946

External links

Coordinates: 42°45′11.03″N 70°53′51.08″W / 42.7530639°N 70.8975222°W / 42.7530639; -70.8975222

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