Concord Academy’s tight-knit community harbors a large number of alumni that are still very much connected with the school. Some alumni stay connected by going to reunions and fundraisers, while others have children or grandchildren who attend CA. The experiences of parent and child are different, both because of the individuality of each person and also because of the changes CA has made over the years.
Zeke Brown ’87 remembers Concord Academy as a school unique in its ability to give such a wide variety of students a great high school experience. He describes the school as fostering a very supportive environment: “Students are encouraged to take risks, question the ‘questions,’ and think independently. This is not just a statement on a brochure but seems to be cooked into the DNA of the school.” Zeke remembers being greatly involved in the community of CA; he describes how his winters were centered around wrestling and spring around lacrosse. He also participated in dance classes, along with some of his friends who also signed up; it became a creative outlet where he could prepare for the wrestling season. He describes that the class was not a breeze and reports that the dance teacher pushed them very hard. However, the difficulty added to the enjoyment of the class.
Ava Brown ’24, Zeke’s daughter, attends the school currently along with her sister Lainey Brown ’22. Ava participates in lacrosse in the spring, as well as extracurriculars such as Concord Academy Fashion Ethusiasts (CAFE) but does not participate in the wrestling team like her father. Ava explains that the school attracted her because of the connections her family had through her father, grandmother, and sister. From hearing the descriptions of unique courses, in-depth discussions, and experiences her family described throughout her childhood, she decided to make CA her top choice of high schools.
Ava describes how the experience she has had at CA thus far has taught her the importance of asking for help when needed. She says, “Teachers here are very tuned into how their students are doing and they want us to succeed, so asking for help, and reaching out has been my way of forming connections and understanding material.”
Zeke finds that after CA, students still stay in touch: “Some of my best friends are from CA. That says a lot about the strength of the community considering I graduated 35 years ago.” Seeing CA now, Zeke explains that because of his career in architecture, the changes that jump out to him the most are the buildings and campus: “The chapel expansion is seamless and wonderful. The Moriarty field house is a truly inspired solution to the problem of a ‘gym’ that so many other schools seem to get wrong.”
As we reflect on CA’s past 100 years, alumni and students also look to the future and all the learning and adapting the school can make. As Zeke puts it, “We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next 20 years at CA!”