Founders Day is one of three annual formal school gatherings. Convocation opens the school in September and commencement marks the end of the school year and the beginning of life after Peddie for our seniors. Founders Day is an occasion to recognize the founding of the Peddie School and to honor those who created, sustained, and continue to propel the school and enrich all of our lives.
The Peddie community gathers twice a week in Ayer Memorial Chapel to focus on one of the school's core values: balance. Students and faculty share pieces of music or literature, which are followed by Chapel talks. These talks are as diverse as our student body itself, often personal, sometimes spiritual, occasionally humorous, and always moving.
Ayer Memorial Chapel
When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke in the Ayer Memorial Chapel in 1957, he was not yet widely known, but his heartfelt speech would affect Peddie graduates for the rest of their lives. More than 50 years later, the chapel has hosted presidents and governors, scholars and scientists, friends and alumni -- and students who will become all of those things themselves.
Dedicated in 1951 to the young Peddie men who died in World War II, and funded by donations of their classmates and fellow alumni, the Chapel stands as a monument to the school's deep history. It remains a literal and figurative centerpiece of the Peddie campus and student life, a reminder of all those who came before.
Vincent Dotoli has served as Head of School at Harlem Academy for the past 12 years. He visited Peddie recently to speak to students about his career path, and desribed how our own Rev. Johnson "reached across barriers" to connect with him and encourage him to explore the world beyond his comfort zone.