Andrew Norris ‘84
I graduated from Rectory in 1984. It is hard to believe 36 years have gone by since I've graduated. I first showed up to Rectory School for seventh grade in 1981. I lived in the Upper Dining Hall dorm and had Mr. Alden as a dorm master. Rectory was my first experience with a boarding school and while I had to adjust, I quickly settled in to the general routine. It was an era when pagers were the general equivalent of cell phones.
I remember the bells ringing from the top of Memorial Dormitory to wake everyone up in the morning. I fondly recall science classes with Mr. Williamson and history classes with Mr. Groom. Mr. Brad Seaward would go around to the dorms signing people up for weekend activities. I believe conduct grades issued by your dorm master factored in for eligibility in activities with cases of too many people for too few open slots. At the time, there was a half day of school on Saturdays, and most Monday afternoons had activities instead of sports. I remember games of Stratego.
The school facilities were excellent, and I observed almost unbelievable progress in that area when I came back to visit in 2014, 30 years after I graduated. How many remember Cedars and MBB dormitories? Do you know which current dormitory used to be called Northwest? There used to be a circle you could drive around in the front of the main building. There was and is a great view from the balcony between Memorial Dormitory and the Main House. Although the campus is fantastic, the good memories I have of the school are of the students and staff.
The resident Nurse, Mr. Newman, took care of me when I was sick. When I reached ninth grade I thought it was wonderful to study in your room instead of study hall. Of course, if you got caught goofing off while you were supposed to be studying, you were sent to regular study hall for a bit. I had great teachers, and I honestly don't remember having a bad one. I also still know many names of students in my classes with some of them now working at the school or serving on the board of trustees. Among many others, Timothy Henahan, Lara Zulli, Polly Calhoun, Todd Frodyma, I hope you are all doing well.
My parents moved a lot when I was growing up so I experienced a fair number of schools both public and private. My favorite school is Rectory. I have thought a lot about why Rectory is my favorite school and confidently came to the conclusion that it is because of the people.
Photograph: Rectory Archives, 1984