Imagine that you are eleven years old, experiencing that potent mix of boundless exuberance and limitless joy that comes with the freedom of running—starting slowly, building speed, feeling the thrill that comes with the discovery and release of your power and self-determination.
Now, imagine 510 boys gathered together in an environment that provides the structure, guidance, direction, and circumstance to encourage and foster growth in each of them. As you walk through the halls and corridors of Fessenden, boys scurry everywhere, hustling from classes to sports; from the gym to study hall; to meals, activities, and rehearsals.
This is the experience of a day at Fessenden, and the whimsical, joyful image of the Running Boy captures that perfectly.
It would be easy to mistake this bustling atmosphere as chaotic, or to consider the Running Boy merely to be about running – but the truth is that our students are purposeful and deliberate as they move from challenge to challenge, eager to engage in the endless opportunities that await them at every turn. Whether seeking a part in a theatrical production or participating in a lunchtime discussion group, our “running boys” move with serious intent coupled with the joy of discovery.
Designed for the School in 1925 by well-known cartoonist Donald Carlisle, the Running Boy is a portrayal of what he conceived to be the typical Fessenden student, tie flying behind him as he strides confidently forward. He is four or he is 15; he is from every country around the world that has been home to Fessenden students. He is a problem solver, an innovator, a performer, an athlete. The Running Boy is every boy who has moved with determination, grace, and hope through the halls of our school. Indeed, he is much more than a statue at the top of the Hyde Hall Slope. He is the depiction of the spirited, productive lives of all of our students, and an enduring symbol of the high energy that fills their days.
We hope you enjoy some of the historic and whimsical Running Boy photos below.