A Founder’s Day Focused On Immigration in Boston’s North End

On November 3, Roxbury Latin celebrated its annual Founder’s Day, honoring the very beginning of the school, founded in 1645 under King Charles I by “the good apostle” John Eliot. In its 378th year, the school focused on immigration in the City of Boston over centuries—particularly in the historic neighborhood of Boston’s North End.

The day began in Rousmaniere Hall with choruses of Jerusalem and The Founder’s Song, and readings in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, and English from members of Class I. Historian and author Stephen Puleo gave the morning’s Hall address, which addressed the layers of immigrant history represented in the North End, from the time of the Revolutionary War through today. Mr. Puleo has written extensively about Boston, in his books A City So Grand, and about the North End in his books The Boston Italians and Dark Tide, about the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. He spoke about the “layers of immigrant communities” still visible in the architecture and culture of the North End, from the spark that set off the American Revolution; to the Irish who were predominant in the 1850s; to the Eastern European Jews whose aesthetic copper facades still mark many North End buildings; to the Italians whose food and culture has infused the neighborhood ever since, securing the neighborhood as Boston’s beloved “Little Italy.”

At the conclusion of Hall, all 309 boys, along with the faculty and staff, assembled on risers on the Senior Grass for the annual all-school picture, followed by a rousing Kahoot! trivia competition, expertly emceed by Mr. Piper, in the Smith Theater and focused on Boston and North End trivia. Following that, the entire school piled onto the MBTA Commuter Rail for an afternoon in downtown Boston. Arriving in South Station, the school then walked in small groups up the Rose Kennedy Greenway to Faneuil Hall, where they enjoyed lunch in the Quincy Market Food Colonnade. Afterward, boys got a faculty-guided tour of the North End, visiting Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, Old North Church, and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, learning about the many layers of one of America’s most historic neighborhoods. (Lots of boys were lucky enough to have a faculty leader who enjoyed Mike’s Pastry cannolis enough to splurge and share.)

After traversing the reverse route—along the Greenway, toward South Station, and then back to West Roxbury—on campus there was ice cream for all, and another successful and enjoyable Founder’s Day was in the books.

View photos from this year’s Founder’s Day adventure.

And after Founder’s Day, there is always Founder’s Day Pub Night! That evening, alumni and faculty gathered for the annual event at Clerys in Boston. View photos from that gathering of friends.