Quirks at Choate, Taft, Hotchkiss, and Loomis Chaffee?

I am applying to the four boarding schools in the discussion title and need some help. I tried to find out a specific quirk or tradition at each school but don’t seem to have too much information from looking at other posts and the respective school’s website. Can any alumni or parents of alumni provide some information since I am interested in seeing the very unique part of each of the four schools, feel free for anyone else questioning the same thing to add more schools.

I do know about the athletic rivalry between the schools but I’m looking for more specific quirks, for example, Lawrenceville has frequent contests against each other in terms of houses (Lawrenceville’s dorms each have their own name, with a rivalry between them).

Choate has a big rivalry with Deerfield. You can find plenty of history about schools - just be creative where you look. L’Ville has a long tradition of rivalry between houses…there was actually a movie (The Happy Years) about a boy finding his way there - made back in the 1940’s or 1950’s - we watched it recently on YouTube. Taft and Hotchkiss are rivals - really creative stuff posted last year online. I think Tom Brady did a video for Taft Day (or was it Hotchkiss Day)? You can find stuff on Twines & Vines. For Loomis - didnt Henry Kravis go there?

I’m a new boarder at Loomis, so I can’t provide much info on the quirks, but we used to have Kent as rival but not anymore (though lots of students are urging the school to have a new rival). And yes, Henry Kravis did go to Loomis :slight_smile: Things that I have on top of my mind:

  1. There's a Pancake Society that makes pancake every Thursday morning
  2. The school is referred to as "the Island" as sometimes water overflows from Farmington River and surrounds the campus
  3. Loomis has a really good English/humanities department
  4. I heard that the hockey games in the winter get pretty rowdy

Let me know if you have any questions about Loomis!

This thread captures a lot of those unique behaviors at various boarding schools:


@Golfgr8 I’ve been to L’ville often and always see a form of competition between houses, that said I looked in the dorm rooms and they looked substandard.
@sparkatzz Thanks for giving information about Loomis. What is the student life at Loomis Chaffee and are the classes vigorous?
@ChoatieMom Thanks for the information!

The weekends at Loomis are usually pretty fun, and the school organizes a lot of on and off-campus activities like movie screenings, trips to malls and Six Flags, hypnosis shows, etc. Since we don’t have Saturday classes, we have a lot of free time to hang out with friends, watch home games and do work. On weekdays people usually have more work but things get done pretty quickly during study halls (my procrastination got so much better!), so we still find time to relax or go to town on a Wednesday afternoon. I wasn’t sure if that’s what you are asking about student life, but I’ve been super happy about my experience here.

Classes here are generally pretty rigorous, and most classes have Regular, Advanced, and CL (college-level) levels for students to choose from. There are also a lot of electives to choose from across all departments, but you can always do Independent Studies with teachers if you decide to. I’m actually taking a philosophy elective this year and it has been really fun and informative. From what I heard, Loomis is also expanding its computational studies program for things like computer science next year.

Thank you @sparkatzz for talking more about Loomis.

@maybesoon There are a LOT of arts, culture and interesting historical places in the Greater Hartford area (a fairly large metro region). You may want to research this before your interview or weave a little bit into your application materials… It is an interesting aspect of Loomis, which the school administration sees as a nice feature of the school.

If you look at the Hotchkiss website, you will see the school’s published Strategic Priorities report, which can give you some insight into its continued plan to “strengthen its student-centered learning community”. The report also addresses the school’s capital plant and financial aid investment plans. The school is very pleased with its “Teaching and Learning Center” which opened a few years ago, and gives additional academic support to students. The connectedness of Hotchkiss’ Main Building is a big theme, where arts, music, dance, auditoriums, all academic departments (except for science), dining, library, chapel, and the student lounges all come together. Lastly, the school’s own farm supplies a significant percentage of Hotchkiss’s food supply, much of which is organic. Quirks: Main Building; Organic Farm; Lake; Golf Course; Student-centered community.