New England

While the Juniors in California welcomed the Class of 2026 with a dance on Saturday, their New England counterparts opted for an outdoor adventure — an afternoon of kayaking and games on the Connecticut River.

Groups of juniors and freshmen arrived in waves, wearing their bathing suits and eager grins. The weather was pleasant for September in New England — warm and sunny with relatively low humidity — so the students were ready to brave the water. Taking out double or single kayaks, students donned their lifejackets, grabbed paddles, and pushed their boats off the dock. Most got the hang of paddling and steering fairly quickly and took to exploring the rocky shoreline, maneuvering up and down the river.

After kayaking, the paddlers docked their boats and returned to land. A group of the men started a football game, while others played frisbee or cornhole. Others sat beside the pavilion and looked out at the beautiful Massachusetts forests and mountains beyond the river, classes mingling and getting to know each other better. When stomachs started rumbling, juniors Tyler Getlik, Luke Cecchi, and Georgiana Egan threw hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill for dinner, gathering everyone together to share in the meal.

Once the sun started to set, students returned to campus for some more fun at the Bl. Frassati Student Center. Outside, a bonfire was set up for making s’mores. Grace Miller (’24) played violin, accompanied by Jane Conner (’26) on guitar and Benjamin Purtell (’26) on tin whistle, leading the group in singing Irish folk music, including TAC classics such as “Black Velvet Band” and “Red is the Rose.”

Inside Frassati’s, competition reigned as students played pool, ping-pong, and Bananagrams — a joyful welcome for the Class of 2026.