Students Return to Campus for the Start of the Year

Monday, August 26, 2019
Susan Simar, admission receptionist, greets new students as they arrive. 

Mercersburg Academy begins its 127th academic year as a preparatory school with Opening Convocation on Sunday, September 1, and the first day of the fall term on Monday, September 2. In preparation for the start of this year, the campus is swinging back into full life this last week of August, as students return from summer vacation and new students arrive. 

“I think the year is starting with a really positive tone,” says Julie Maurer ’90, associate head of school for school life. “We're excited for the kids to come back. The School Life team has worked really hard over the summer to start the year off well, and hopefully, that shows.”

Opening Convocation will take place September 1 at 2 p.m. in the Irvine Memorial Chapel. It is a required appointment for all students and faculty and is open to the public, although seating is limited. Faculty member Sue Malone will give the Convocation address. Read more about Convocation.

Members of Mercersburg’s football team, the Blue Storm, was the first subset of the student body to return to campus Thursday, August 22. Student leaders (including dormitory prefects and Peer Group and Mentor Leadership Program leaders) returned to campus Friday, August 23. New students arrived Sunday, August 25, and Monday, August 26, with all other students returning Tuesday, August 27. Inbound, the school’s new-student orientation program, began Monday, August 26.

“In a year where our focus is on diversity, equity, and inclusion, I want to welcome all of our community members back to school with a renewed sense belonging,” says Chris Howes, assistant head of school for student life and culture. “Take time this year to celebrate the small things, take time to connect with your peers, take time to savor your relationships, and take time to welcome those in who you may not have otherwise. We are one community and we are what makes it, so let's do that work.”

Mercersburg’s 2019-2020 student body is composed of 442 students, including residents of 27 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and 35 countries. The Class of 2020 (the Academy’s senior class) numbers 125, with 123 upper middlers (11th graders), 106 lower middlers (10th graders), and 88 juniors (ninth graders).

The school also welcomes 10 new faculty members this year: Christian Bancroft (English), Andy Brown (mathematics), Jessica Doubell (technical director in the Burgin Center for the Arts), Cindy Fowler (college counselor), Tim Kerr (history), Bill Kissick (chief development officer), Justine O’Connell (director of global programs/languages), Jennifer Sipes (school counselor), Ryan Tyree (English), and Rudy Wise (associate director of admission). Read more about our new faculty members.