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Our traditions come alive through experience. The heart and soul of Concord Academy, the Chapel, is the place where CA's singular rite of passage unfolds.

Once a Baptist meeting house, the Chapel was originally built in the 1700s in New Hampshire. In 1956, under the leadership of Head of School Elizabeth B. Hall, it was disassembled and rebuilt by students and faculty in its present location on the CA campus. In Mrs. Hall's vision, the Chapel became a space for quiet, as well as for community, in an active, lively school.

Today, in its second life as a secular building, it still provides in these ways – it's always open to students who want to grab a few moments of quiet reflection, and it's also where we gather to sing away the cold in the winter, where we host alumnae/i speakers at reunion in June, and where the community often convenes for discussions during the school year. Some of our graduates have even gotten married here.

Primarily, the Chapel is the meeting place where a member of the senior class is granted the opportunity to speak for 15 minutes at the start of our school day. The entire school gathers in the Chapel three or more mornings a week to hear seniors, and sometimes faculty members, address the CA community. These senior chapel talks, known simply as “chapels,” have evolved over time from readings and songs to speeches and art performances. Seniors speak to the community on the topic of their choice, sharing their stories and revealing themselves to a keenly listening audience, whose members take in these stories with respect and support. In listening to others in Chapel, we enact our school's commitment to embracing a diversity of perspectives.

Get a glimpse inside chapel talks in this video:
Senior Chapel Talks at CA
These chapels are, in a sense, the story of who we are as a community, and who we are as individuals. Now that you are considering joining CA in the fall, we invite you to think about how you might use this opportunity, to reflect upon what your story might be.

We hope you choose to join us at CA so that you, too, can experience chapel talks and the close-knit community that results when we take the time to listen to one another.


Rick Hardy
Head of School
Dresden Endowed Chair