Hyde’s 50th Anniversary, A Celebration for the Ages
“. . . most of all, thank you Hyde for showing us that it was never about going back to Hyde. It was about showing us that Hyde never left us to begin with.” – Jim Kallaher ‘91
Over 700 alumni, alumni parents, faculty and friends gathered on the Hyde campus in Bath to celebrate the school’s 50th Anniversary. Founded in 1966, Joe Gauld’s vision has grown from one small school of 16 boys into two coed boarding schools in Bath, Maine and Woodstock, Connecticut, enrolling over 300 students. Additionally, staying true to the mission to change American education and serve students and parents from all backgrounds, Hyde opened public charter schools in inner city New Haven, CT, Washington, DC, Oakland, CA and New York, NY.
The weekend was an opportunity for old friends and new to reconnect, celebrate and share the Hyde Pride. Class of ’98 alumnus Ronald Capers summed up the experience,
“I had one of the best weekends of my life! I got to go back to the place where my life changed forever … I got to go back home to Hyde and be around my second family. There were people I haven’t seen in many years, and then there were those who I met for the first time who were just as great! Hyde School has a place embedded in my heart and will always remain sacred.”
The weekend brimmed with activities. Friday, June 3rd, the evening kicked-off with a lobster bake. The excitement and energy on campus was palpable right from the start. Friends spanning 50 years reconnected and picked-up just where they left off. The good times continued after dinner, with receptions in the Mansion, a presentation on the Charter School initiatives in Wheeler Library and quite possibly the evenings highlight: “corn-hole and cocktails” in the Sunken Garden. Saturday morning got off to a great start with a 5k run on the cross country trail, and a river cruise on the Kennebec. Five inspiring alumni with class years spanning 1978 to 2015 made graduation speeches under the chandelier and were presented with diplomas by Executive Director of Schools, Laura Gauld. Later, after a barbeque lunch at the Jaye Family Track and Field, alumni of all ages played in lacrosse and soccer games.
In the afternoon a “mingle” in the Sunken Garden and a State of the School address with Board Chair, Nancy Brennan and President, Malcolm Gauld preceded an amazing Gala Dinner and a dance party in the Union. The celebration concluded with brunch on Sunday where, laughs, hugs, and tearful farewells filled the dining hall. It was obvious that no one wanted to leave. More than a series of activities, the weekend was an opportunity to stoke the fires of the deep, meaningful relationships uniquely forged at Hyde.
The Saturday evening gala was the peak of the celebration. After an inspiring Hall of Honor induction ceremony led by Craig Mael ’71, and a brief history of Hyde delivered by Ken Grant ’72, the audience drew silent while a montage of pictures and videos flashed vivid images of the different eras at Hyde. Finally, a video in which one after another, countless students, faculty and staff from all of the Hyde campuses thanked founder Joe Gauld and congratulated Hyde on 50 years (You can see the video HERE). Mr. Gauld received an ovation for the ages and moved everyone when he took the stage,
“I want to thank you for this incredible, almost magical 50th Hyde anniversary celebration. You created–more than a community–one big family, bonded by love. I felt I was sharing my “Big Love” with Hyde people I most respect and love, making me feel as Lou Gehrig of the Yankees did—The happiest man in the world.”
The Gala closed with quite possibly the most impressive rendition of school song ever performed. All 700 attendees, in unison, appreciation and love,
“ . . . WE ARE THE SOULS OF HYDE!”