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Posted 09/25/2014 05:15PM

What a day we had! At 9:15 p.m. on Saturday night, the Centennial logo still lit the Meadows as the smoke from the fireworks' finale settled and the large crowd of students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends clapped, cheered, and whistled. The spectacular show had burst above the Island for 15 minutes and culminated a wonderful Centennial Celebration, as we kicked off the year of the school’s 100th birthday.

Students had classes in the morning, so the many events really began with the dedication of Richmond Hall. We had over 20 members of the Richmond family here celebrating the dormitory named for Howie Richmond, Class of 1935, and his wife, Anita. Three generations of Richmonds — nine family members — have attended the school. We held the dedication in the courtyard between Richmond and Kravis, a wonderfully intimate space that has already become a favorite social spot for underclass students. 

One of the highlights of the day was a visit to the RAC to see Joe Hill’s 3D depiction of Grubbs Quad—a smash hit with students, parents, and alumni who lined up to get their photographs taken standing on the pelican flying over the Quad. (See the painting here and here is a time-lapse of its creation.)

We had plenty of athletic events, too—mostly against Andover. We pulled out a 13-0 victory in the football game, while volleyball won 3 games to 1. Both soccer teams tied their games; field hockey had lost under the lights on Friday night; water polo beat Choate and lost to Hotchkiss in a tri-meet; and both girls and boys cross country, running at an away meet, won the Canterbury Invitational. During halftime at the football game, several of our athletes highlighted by decade the history of Loomis' sports, and when the game was over, our dance troupe entertained the large crowd with popular dances from 1914 until today (View the video here). As their performance concluded, the dancers were joined by a flash mob that enveloped the field. Then, with a band of bagpipers leading the way along roads lined with over 40 countries' flags, it was on to the Homestead for the Centennial Ceremony—really fun and quite moving. You can read about that here.

Dinner was under the biggest tent we have ever seen in the Grubbs Quad, lit with scores of lovely big round lanterns. We had seating for almost 1,500 under the tent with tables also set up elsewhere. There was a dance floor, a rocking band, and lots of birthday cupcakes. The evening concluded with the big bang of those fireworks over the Meadows. Then all of our outside guests left, and the students had their opening dance under the tent; they were so enthusiastic that they broke the dance floor! So a good time was had by all. 

Former Loomis headmaster John Ratté and archivist Karen Parsons headed up the Centennial Working Committee, and they were ably assisted by a slew of other faculty, staff, and students. They certainly know how to throw a party!

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