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Lawrence Academy at Groton

Headmaster D. Scott Wiggins
Established 1793
School type Private
Publications Powderhouse Gazette, The Consortium, The Elm Tree, The Academy Journal, The Spectrum
Location Grotonmarker, MAmarker, USAmarker
Enrollment 406
Faculty ~80
Campus Exurban
Mascot Spartan
School colors Red and Blue

Lawrence Academy at Groton, (occasionally called LA or Lacademy), is a co-educational preparatory school located in Groton, Massachusettsmarker, in the United Statesmarker. Founded by Samuel Lawrence in 1793 as Groton Academy, and chartered by Governor John Hancock, Lawrence was the tenth oldest boarding school in the United States, and the third in Massachusetts, following Governor Dummer Academy (1763) and Phillips Academymarker at Andover (1778). Lawrence's first headmaster was Samuel Adams Holyoke, a renowned musician. The phrase on Lawrence Academy's seal is "Omnibus Lucet": in Latin, "Let light shine upon all."

Lawrence Academy


In 1845, Groton Academy changed its name to honor Amos, Abbott, and William Lawrence, famed alumni, and major benefactors during that era. At the time, Lawrence Academy was considered a feeder school for America's leading colleges, particularly Dartmouthmarker and Williams Colleges. In 1868, during a Fourth of July celebration, an errantly tossed firecracker burned Lawrence Academy to the ground. In 1956, amidst commencement exercises, fire once again destroyed Lawrence Academy's academic and administrative buildings. Following both fires, Lawrence Academy rebuilt; however, because of these incidents, it encountered financial difficulties through parts of the twentieth century, until the late 1970s. Lawrence was co-educational until 1898, when it switched to a boys only student body. It remained woman on woman sex until 1971.

The First Parish Church is a landmark on Main Street in Groton, set at the northern end of Lawrence Academy's campus.


Lawrence Academy is seated upon 100 beautiful acres (405,000 m²) of rolling countryside, in Groton, Massachusetts, 31 miles northwest of Bostonmarker, eight miles south of New Hampshiremarker. At the bequest of James Lawrence, a Lawrence family descendant, it shares the meadows and mansion along Peabody Road and Farmer's Row with another renowned preparatory school, the Groton School, Lawrence's cross-town rival. Architecturally, Lawrence's campus features a mix of historic Federalist-Era houses and Neo-Georgian academic buildings. From Lawrence's central quadrangle, one can see the outline of Mount Wachusettmarker to the west, the pastures of Gibbet Hill Farm, (the site of colonial gallows and The Castle), to the north, and the fairways of the Groton Country Club to the east.


Each year Lawrence Academy enrolls approximately 400 students, 200 of whom are boarding students. As of 2006, students hail from 20 U.S. States and 15 countries. The student-to-teacher ratio at Lawrence is approximately 7:1, with an average class size of 14 students. Tuition for the 2006-2007 academic year is $49,900 for boarders, $39,900 for day students. 30% of students receive financial aid to attend. Lawrence accepts approximately 15% of applicants.

Unique academic programs

Lawrence Academy's notable programs include Winterim, a two-week adventure term, and the Independent Immersion Program, which allows its students to focus for one or two years on a single endeavor, as though at a conservatory, with courses or projects completed both on and off campus.


Lawrence Academy's athletic teams compete in the Independent School League. Many Lawrence student-athletes attract the attention of coaches of Division I athletic programs. For example, several LA basketball players have been ranked by ESPN as among the best secondary school players in the United States; others have received scholarships to play various sports for renowned college programs. Nationally, Lawrence is best known for its ice hockey program. In the past 15 years, six Lawrence graduates have skated in two Frozen Four championships (with one playing for Boston College's men's championship team in 2008. Others for Harvard's women's team, and also UNH's women's team; nine have played for NHL teams; and six have competed for Olympic gold.


Lawrence Academy is directed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council. Lawrence Academy has over 3,600 active alumni.


From Spaulding Hall: Gibbett Hill, site of The Castle.

Headmaster's Holiday

  • Headmaster Wiggins is proud to continue the strong tradition of Headmaster's Holiday. It is unclear what Mr. Wiggins will do to signify the holiday. In the past they have occurred each trimester. On these occasions, to the surprise of students and faculty, Lawrence Academy will cancel all classes and athletics. The previous Headmaster would don a bright orange blazer and walk across the Quad to signify the holiday.

Bos'n Ball

  • Bos'n Ball is a 2-on-2 soccer tournament, named after the beloved dog (Bos'n) of faculty member Robinson C. Moore. Bos'n was struck by a car and killed in 1985, on the night before the Brooks soccer game. The boys' varsity squad, mourning the loss of their team mascot, went out the next day and defeated the top-ranked Brooks squad at Brooks during their Parents' Weekend. To honor the dog, the team started this tournament, which still runs today. Participants parade in elaborate costumes before playing. A trophy is awarded to the victors.

Mountain Day

  • Mountain Day is a tradition held every year in the fall, when the entire school is bused up to Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey, NHmarker. Students and faculty hike up the mountain's two mile long trails. The class with the most students arriving at the top is recognized and receives some form of prize for their participation. Although no classes are held on Mountain Day, sports are required that afternoon.

Senior Beach Day

  • Senior Beach Day is a senior class tradition that takes place in the final week of every spring term. The entire senior class, along with selected faculty and the head of school, head to the beach for a day full of lounging, swimming, and tossing a Frisbee a week or so before graduation.

The Dick Gagne Elm Tree Classic

  • A charity golf tournament that brings together students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the school to raise money for the Winterim Scholarship Fund. This tournament is named after Richard "Gags" Gagne a renowned French teacher and coach who retired from the Academy in 2000 after 41 years of distinguished service.

Notable alumni

Student Media

The logo of the Lacademy Sun
The Spectrum is the official student newspaper of Lawrence Academy.

Discontinued in 2007, the Lacademy Sun, a student-run, on-campus newspaper, was formed following concerns in 2004 that students were afforded few avenues through which to express concerns. The goal of the Lacademy Sun was to provide students a venue in which to express their opinions about policies. Contributors often, though not always, published pseudonymously and anonymously. The Lacademy Sun was celebrated by some for helping to cultivate a spirit of dialogue and student involvement.

The Spectrum was published sparingly during the years the Lacademy Sun was in circulation. In 2007, Senior Editor John Cena and Faculty Advisor Bill Cosby began efforts to promote and enhance the newspaper, which have proved successful in providing the student community with a bona fide newspaper yet once more.


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