100 years of Beaver

Photo of the Beaver campus from Hammond StreetSenior ExperienceOur CampusOutside of campus Beaver

Beaver’s Centennial spanned two years from 2020-2022. This milestone provided a springboard for Beaver to collect and reflect on the many chapters that comprise a century-long story of our school. Below is a timeline of school milestones from 1920 to today, interspersed with philanthropic milestones.



Beaver Founded & Incorporated

Beaver was incorporated as an elementary school and an all-girls’ high school in 1920 by a group of parents who were interested in progressive education and the Country Day School movement.


First BVR Graduating Class

The East Wing of the building was completed and the first class graduated with five members.


Eugene R. Smith Becomes Head of School

Smith serves until 1943. In addition, the central section of the building is completed, including Bradley Hall and the McElwain Art Studio.   


Impact of WWII

British children are evacuated from their homes because of WWII to countries all over the world. Several children lived with host families and attended Beaver.


BVR and Nature

Beaver had a “nature room,” and two school sheep, named Coco and Baba.


Crosby Hodgman Becomes Head of School

Hodgman serves until 1967.

“Let the teaching be inspired! We have the staff and the program to make Beaver the finest example of independent school education.” — Hodgman


Beaver Summer Camp launches

The first session is held in June 194.



Beaver Goes Global

Beaver students studied the world view, and were offered such opportunities as a day-long conference in 1953 on “Unifying the Free Nations.” The keynote speaker for this event was Eleanor Roosevelt.


A Letter from the Senior Class President

An excerpt from the 1962 yearbook:

We, the Seniors, are saying good-by to a happiness and a growth which are ever present at Beaver. This growth has been partially directed and partially self-determined. This happiness reflects the joy of our achieves and the light of our friendships. 

—Nancy Tucker ’62, Senior Class President


Model United Nations at Beaver

Model United Nations had become a major extracurricular activity at Beaver, and sister-school & exchange relationships had been formed with schools in Kobe, Japan and Strasbourg, France. Teachers as well as students came from abroad via such programs as the American Field Service to share and learn in the Beaver community.


Donald Nickerson Becomes Head of School

Nickerson serves until 1973.

In addition, construction is completed on the Science and Library wings.


Beaver Goes Co-ed

Beaver embraces co-education and male students are admitted.


Philip McCurdy (PEM) becomes Head of School

McCurdy serves until 1984.


The Black Student Union Founded



Jerry Martin Becomes Head of School

Martin proclaimed Beaver a “world school.” Outreach programs drew students to Beaver from South Africa, the Navajo Nation, and, after a decade’s hiatus, Japan. Formal and informal arrangements brought students from Korea, Hong Kong, Germany, Spain, and Mexico, and in 1989 English-as-a-Second Language instruction was begun. The School became more aggressive in developing both its athletic program and its commitment to diversity.


Peter Hutton Becomes Head of School

Hutton serves until 2020. He charged the faculty to undertake a major curriculum review, and worked tirelessly to establish a culture of teaching and learning in a real world context, leveraging technology as a tool and establishing an entrepreneurial mindset into the fabric of the school’s culture. 


Athletics at Beaver

By 1994 Beaver teams had added New England titles in Girls’ Basketball (1990) and Boys’ Basketball (’92, ’93, and ’94).  Beaver athletes have graced All-Star rosters at every level, including All-American, and have represented the United States in international play in soccer, field hockey, and basketball.


Taking Performing Arts to the Next Level

Visual and Performing Arts Center opened, including a state-of-the-art Black Box theater, allowing for students to pursue technical theater and acting.


The Hiatt Center Founded

The Hiatt Center is established through a generous $1M gift. Hiatt programming connects Beaver students to the global society through mutually beneficial partnerships that deepen learning and inspire individuals to rethink their place in the world. Each summer, over 100 students participate in programming all over the Boston area.


NuVu Founded

Beaver becomes a founding partner with NuVu Studio in Cambridge.

In addition, in 2009, Beaver embraces a 1:1 laptop program.

NuVu Studio
Students working at NuVu Studio in Cambridge

2010s to Today


The Beaver Brand

Beaver goes through a rebrand, committing to  sharing the school’s philosophy, vision and programming at the national and international level, garnering a reputation beyond New England and positioning the school as a prominent voice in the educational sector.

Beaver Crest with Beaver Country Day School
Beaver Wordmark


Science Wing is Renovated

When it was opened, students were tasked with creating a 30 to 60 second promotional video that introduced the new facility and presented a new vision for science education.

See it here.


The New Basics

Beaver names the New Basics— creative problem-solving, collaboration, iteration, visual communication, empathy, tech & media literacy, and presentation skills.


An introduction to New Basics


The Future is Here Campaign Launch

From 2016-2019, Beaver conducted The Future Is Here campaign, a $25M effort that created the Research + Design Center, a centerpiece of the campus and a space that defines Beaver’s mindset


R+D Center Opens

Following a $25M comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Research + Design Center opens its doors.

In addition, the Middle School embraces a music program where all students learn to play an instrument.

R+D Center at BVR
R+D Center Work


Kim Samson Becomes Head of School

Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, Kim Samson becomes Beaver’s first female of school.


Kim Samson, Future Head of School


Beaver’s Endowment reaches $20M