WORCESTER ACADEMY

 

 

Founded in 1834, at the insistence of prominent Worcester citizens, Worcester Academy was expected to be an all boys prepatory school. It was to be "a school for the education of youth in languages, arts and sciences, for promoting habits of industry and economy, and inculcating the principles of piety and virtue" (http://www.worc-acad.pvt.k12.ma.us/1834.html). The founding Worcester citizens eventually became the first board of trustees on April 28, 1834. The board gained legitimacy under the Act of Incorporation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts which was passed on that same day.

The Board elected Isaac Davis as President, Otis Corbett as Secretary, and Icabod Washburn as Treasurer. Worcester Academy was opened under the name The Worcester County Manual Labor High School and did not change until February 24, 1847. The name was changed due to the change of the nature of the ciriculum being offered. Previously, Worcester Academy had been a manual labor school, but due to the sale of half its land, the ciriculum became impossible to implement. Therefore, the change of name to Worcester Academy and the change of ciriculum became a herald for a new period in the Academy's history.


WALKER HALL, 1889

Another call for change came in 1869. In this year Worcester Academy changed its location from Main Street to its present location at Union Hill. However, a more profound change to Worcester Academy was in 1856 when the catalogue issued a call for female students.

"The trustees do not forget that those in whose liberality the Academy had its origin, designed especially by its organization to furnish facilities for educating candidates for the Christian Ministry. Mindful of this, its early design, and deeply sympathizing in the desire which has been cherished in its behalf, the Board has effected an arrangement by which all candidates for the Christian Ministry, who are approved by the Executive Committee, shall receive the tuition free of charge. The Trustees design that the moral and religious character of the Institution, while it shall, in no degree, assume a sectarian aspect, shall be such as to secure the confidence of the Church and of the community; and shall particularly commend it to parents as a place where their sons and DAUGHTERS may be educated uner the best moral and religious influences" (Small 29).

In later years, the idea of a co-educational Worcester Academy was not held by many on the Board of Trustees. In the years 1890-91 the Board deemed the school to be once again an all boys school, and refused the admittance of females. It was not until 1974 that females were once again admitted.

 

VISIT THE BUILDINGS OF WORCESTER ACADEMY

 WALKER HALL, 1889

KINGSLEY LABORATORIES, 1897 

 ADAMS HALL, 1892 

THE MEGARON, 1905

 INSIDE THE MEGARON (STAGE VIEW)

INSIDE THE MEGARON (DOOR VIEW)

 DEXTER HALL, 1892

 WALKER/MEGARON

 DANIELS GYMNASIUM, 1915

THE OLD BELL

"REMOVED FROM ACADEMY HALL TO OREAD INSTITUTE BY ELI THAYER, 1854. RESTORED TO WORCESTER ACADEMY (AT REQUEST OF DOCTOR WARD) BY MRS. JOSEPH FELS."

 

 

OTHER USEFUL SITES:

Welcome to Worcester Academy

 

RESOURCES UTILIZED

Small, Cloyd E. Achieving the Honorable: Worcester Academy, 1834-1978. Worcester: Davis Press, Inc., 1979.

 

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