Alumni News

Parents: Join in the Campaign to Honor the Class of 2011

Communications – November 14, 2010

Deerfield Academy and the Co-Chairs of the Senior Parents Committee seek the support of parents, grandparents, family, and friends for the renovation of the Deerfield Dining Hall in honor of the contributions of the Great Class of 2011. This Senior Class Gift will have a material and lasting impact on student life and strengthen the traditions that made the Academy such a special time for your sons and daughters. 

Sit-down meals are one of Deerfield’s most visible traditions, a hallmark of life on campus since the Academy accepted its first boarding students in 1916. In an era of constant electronic distractions, sit-down meals are a time for those deep personal connections that make student life at Deerfield so distinctive; strengthening friendships, exchanging ideas, and enhancing community spirit.

The original dining room was situated in John Williams House, which in 1916 was also the Academy’s only dormitory. From 1921 to 1948, the dining room was relocated to the Hitchcock House. The current Dining Hall, designed by Geoffrey & William Platt of New York City, the same firm that designed the Main School Building, was inaugurated in 1948. The additions of the north “Bubble” and the sunken Parker Terrace were part of the Dining Hall’s first and only major facelift in 1992. Following that renovation, its facilities included the main dining room with space for 600 students and faculty, two small private dining rooms off the entrance lobby, and the 170-seat Parker Dining Room downstairs.

As many of you know, an unfortunate fire in the basement laundry last Winter Holiday damaged the south side of the building. The extent of the required repairs opened up an opportunity to conduct a badly needed renovation and increase the seating capacity of the main dining room, construction that began this summer.

The most important and visible change has been the expansion of the south Bubble by 1,500 sq ft, allowing for 10 additional tables and 100 extra seats. The entire student body is now able to have sit-down meals together. The project also included replacement of the green and white checkerboard flooring in the main dining room with a dark wood laminate, an upgrade of the interior lighting systems, installation of energy efficient thermal pane windows, installation of a sprinkler system, and an upgrade of the heating system. In addition, a formal Patio has been created off the new south Bubble overlooking the lower level and tennis courts, providing the community with an expansive outdoor eating and entertaining area under the giant Maple trees.

Please consider making your gift or pledge to this most important project today. Each and every one can and will make a difference. As a capital project, pledges to the Senior Class Gift are payable over a 3-year period.

On behalf of Deerfield Academy, we thank you in advance for your inspiring support and uplifting generosity.

With warm regards,

William Barry ’77, P’11
Director of Parent Programs

Cynthia and Jamie Kempner ’74, P’03,’05,’11
Co-Chairs, Deerfield Senior Parents Campaign 

Ashley and Jeff McDermott P11,’14 
Co-Chairs, Deerfield Senior Parents Campaign 

Karen and Tom Murphy P’11
Co-Chairs, Deerfield Senior Parents Campaign