Throwback Thursday: The Class of ’63 Looks Back

[Editor’s Note: The year in which the Class of 1963 (which celebrates its fiftieth reunion during this year’s Homecoming festivities) graduated was also former headmaster Dr. Joseph R. Kidd’s twenty-fifth year of service to St. Luke’s School. In order to commemorate the occasion, the staff of the 1963 Caduceus published this essay, “The History of St. Luke’s,” which we reproduce here in its entirety. Nothing has been corrected or altered from the original.]

St. Luke’s was purchased on Christmas of 1937 by Dr. Kidd and Mr. von Fabrice. The school was originally intended to be the New Canaan branch of the Low-Heywood School for girls. The first school year began in September of 1938 with seventeen students and six faculty members making up the school population. The students were in all twelve grades. The following year there were thirty-four students registered. Dr. Kidd then decided that the best way to handle the large number of students who wanted to come to St. Luke’s would be to add twenty percent a year until a quota of 200 was reached. Since then the number has expanded to the total of 235 and will remain there.

The staff of the Caduceus in 1963.

The athletic prowess of St. Luke’s was first demonstrated in 1938 with a six-man football team. The following year there were enough students in the upper classes to make up a full squad of eleven.

The sign which has become so familiar to so many of us was put on the stout oak in the year of 1940. It has weathered many attacks by other schools and bad weather, but it has stood firm, as have the students on the other side.

The first improvement to the school took place in 1941 with the addition of an athletic field, which cost approximately $3,000 to build.

The first basketball game was played in 1941 against Daycroft. St. Luke’s was the victim of this hard fought battle. The first baseball season was in 1942. Harry Earl, an early slugger on the Hilltop, hit two homeruns into what is now the children’s playground to win the game.

Transportation was first provided by the school in 1943. A bus named “The Green Hornet” gave its passengers thrills and spills on their way to and from school.

The first athletic banquet, father and son, was held in 1944 to give letters to worthy varsity participants.

The Athletic Committee was first organized in 1945 with the idea that it would take care of all the jobs that had to be done around the school. Since then the Athletic Committee has become the service organization of the school. If there is any job that has to be done, all one has to do is talk to one of the heads of the Committee and there will be a group of boys on the scene who are willing and able.

The building fund was started in 1946 with a $50 donation from Mrs. Charles D. Welling.

The St. Luke’s Coat of Arms was designed in 1942 by Mr. von Fabrice. Much time was spent in figuring out the best possible inscription for the crest. Respice, Adspice, Prospice was finally chosen. Many, many St. Luke’s students have left the Hilltop with the words, “Look to the past, the present, and the future,” fresh and meaningful in their minds.

The first of many fine clothing sales which have aided the St. Luke’s building fund so greatly was held in 1951. Through the years these clothing sales have brought in $17,000 for the construction of the gymnasium, Megrue Field, and the new science wing to be added in the near future.

The Anthony Wells Memorial Room, which is dedicated to Anthony Wells, who died in 1952, was part of the new addition that was finished in 1956. The room serves as a conference room for faculty and parents.

The white gates through which student and faculty pass both morning and evening were a gift of the Classes of 1954 and 1957. They are both the first and the last things that a student sees when he first comes to St. Luke’s, and when he leaves his Alma Mater for the last time.

Construction of the wing which now houses the gym, the study hall, and the locker room was begun in 1955, with the ground-breaking ceremonies being conducted by Dr. Kidd, Mr. von Fabrice, and Mrs. Enoch Megrue. The first of many fine parents’ dances was held in the new gym on its completion in the spring of 1956.

The dedication of the fountain at which so many boys have quenched their thirsts during hot fall and spring days took place in 1959. It was dedicated to the memory of Richard Miles Strauss, who had attended St. Luke’s before his untimely death in California in 1957.

In 1961 Mr. Emilio B. Knechtle, a resident of New Canaan for 10 years, purchased St. Luke’s with the idea of furthering the educational possibilities of the school. Construction of a new Athletic Field has already started, and definite plans are being drawn up for the science wing and eventually a new kitchen.

Construction of the new field was begun in 1961. The field is to be called Megrue Field in honor of the Megrue boys: George, class of ’53, and John, class of ’54.

St. Luke’s also has an educational record of which it is extremely proud. Over the last twenty-four years every boy who has applied to college has been accepted. St. Luke’s has had as many as five boys in Harvard, Dartmouth, Lafayette, and Hamilton in one year.

This is Dr. Kidd’s twenty-fifth anniversary year at St. Luke’s, and we of the Caduceus Staff hope that it has been an enjoyable one. We also hope that he will remain here for many more, so that he may pass on to many others the information and guidance which he has given to so many of us of the senior class.

— The Staff of the 1963 Caduceus

Posted by on October 17, 2013. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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