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A Message from The Gunnery's Head of School

Dear Prospective Students and Families,

It is my great honor to welcome you to The Gunnery or, at least, to our virtual presence. I hope that you experience from our website what you will certainly understand if and when you visit in person: a vibrant, closely-knit community of scholars, athletes, and artists situated in the gorgeous town of Washington, Connecticut. We hew closely to the vision and example of our founder, Frederick Gunn, because he was a man of courage, wisdom, and creativity who struck the fine balance between being both progressive and traditional in his worldview.  The world today needs leaders like Gunn and we endeavor to reflect his philosophy and life, both in our faculty and in our students.  To learn more about Gunn, please see our School History.

The Gunnery offers many things only possible in a small school: the chance to know and be known by every fellow student; the individualized care for students only possible when every faculty member knows every student by name; multiple early opportunities for leadership and discovery. If you enjoy being known well by your friends and your teachers, if you enjoy developing friendships with peers from around the country and the world, and if you enjoy learning, playing, and creating in an environment in which it is safe to try, fail, and try again, then you'll love our school. We believe that real learning happens best when put into action, whether the topic is the principles of physics, the violin, a zone defense, or leadership. At The Gunnery, you will have more opportunities than at larger schools to put theory into practice and, as a result, will learn exponentially.  Don't just take my word for it - see what our students and faculty have to say in The Gunnery Experience movie.

As you visit schools, I encourage you to "go with your gut." You will spend anywhere from one to four years living, working, and playing at the school you choose. Your school will be your home away from home and many of your friendships will last a lifetime. The most important thing to consider is the people with whom you will spend those years--the faculty and your fellow students--and the overall feel of campus life. The best metric of a school's success is the people it attracts and the opportunities it affords them. Will you have the chance to put learning into action in "live" situations and receive the meaningful feedback, from people you trust, needed to grow in knowledge, insight, and wisdom? We believe that The Gunnery is unique in its ability to offer just that.

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't say more about the wonderful town of Washington. Nestled in the Shepaug River Valley, our campus is a ten minute walk and five minute drive from Steep Rock. Frederick Gunn cared deeply about the woods, rocks, and rivers surrounding him and that tradition continues today.  We are deeply blessed to live and learn in a place shaped so distinctly and beautifully by our natural environment.

Come visit and see for yourself. I promise you will be delighted by what you learn.

Sincerely yours,

Peter W.E. Becker
Head of School


Peter W.E. Becker
BA, University of Virginia
MA, Yale University

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