Thayer and Braintree
Ever since 1871 when General Sylvanus Thayer included in his will a bequest “to build an academy... to promote the cause of education in the Commonwealth and to benefit the town of Braintree, the place of my birth,” Thayer Academy and Braintree have been cooperative neighbors.
Thayer Academy benefits by being a part of the Braintree community, with its rich history, diverse economy, and accessibility to Boston, the South Shore, and the western suburbs. The Academy contributes to this vibrant community in many ways, including opening its facilities to local civic and cultural organizations and providing many student volunteers to area non-profits.
Below, discover how Thayer has been contributing resources, creating opportunities, and supporting its neighbors in Braintree and beyond since 1877.
- Fifty-eight Braintree students attend Thayer (approximately 8% of the student body), which puts Braintree in the top three towns that send students to the Academy. Braintree students receive financial aid of $486,850 annually (approximately 7% of the total financial aid budget). Using the Braintree Public Schools budget expenditure of $14,536 per student, these 58 students represent an annual savings of more than $800,000 to the Town.
- More than 100 Braintree children participate in Camp Thayer’s summer programs.
- Approximately 25% of Thayer's full-time employees (42) are Braintree residents. The Academy pays these full-time personnel and our 40 part-time and seasonal employees more than $3 million in annual salaries and benefits.
- Thayer Academy pays taxes on each residential property it owns, totalling $60,000 in annual real estate taxes. Recently, the Academy provided a ground lease to the Edge Group for the operation of the Thayer Sports Center, which effectively removed the tax- exempt status of this land, resulting in additional tax revenues to the Town.
- Thayer Academy contributes over $30,000 each year on a voluntary basis to support town operations and has paid the Town building and grading permit fees totaling over $250,000 over the last decade.
- Thayer has paid for improvements to neighboring streets at a cost of more than $100,000, This includes repaving Hobart Avenue and installing curbing, sidewalks, plantings, and new lighting on Washington Street.
- Thayer renovated Braintree’s Daily Field at a cost of $75,000 and maintains the field annually in exchange for rent-free use.
- Thayer contributes $10,000 annually to the Braintree Public Library.
- Thayer conducts $1 million worth of business annually with 40 businesses based in Braintree.
- In past years, donations have been made to both the Braintree Police Department and Braintree Fire Department for equipment purchases.
- Thayer contributes $5,000 annually to the Braintree July 4th Celebration.
- Thayer has hosted the Braintree Public Schools Beginning-of-the-Year Administrative Retreat the past two years.
One highlight of my time working at the historical society was receiving a private, in-depth tour of the Sylvanus Thayer birthplace house (which is home to many extremely interesting and rare pieces of history). Other highlights included seeing a document signed by Abraham Lincoln. an original draft of the Declaration of Independence, many firearms and bayonets (some of which dated back to the Revolutionary War), and numerous other treasures that I was able to discover. My hope is that I was productive in helping the society and that I made some sort of contribution to the never-ending cause of preserving history.Max Wagner '18; Max worked at the Braintree Historical Society for his senior project.
Thayer students volunteering at St. Coletta's Day
Thayer's Annual Holiday Toy Drive benefitting families in Braintree
- Civic agencies such as the Braintree Public Library, Braintree Choral Society, Braintree Historical Society, and Braintree After-School Enrichment Program (BASE) receive free use of Thayer's Center for the Arts (CFA).
- The Atlantic Symphony Orchestra holds the majority of its season’s performances in the CFA at no charge. The Arc of the South Shore holds a holiday concert and reception in the CFA.
- In the summer, Braintree residents hold Interfaith Prayer Services in the CFA.
- Town youth league teams enjoy free weekend use of the $4.5 M+ South Athletic Campus fields in the spring and fall seasons, worth about $50,000 annually in foregone rental revenues.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) hosts weekly meetings in the campus dining hall.
- In association with the Braintree Business Council, the Academy hosts receptions for candidates for public office.
- The Braintree High School track & field and baseball teams have occasionally used Thayer’s facilities.
- Braintree Braves Drum and Bugle Corps uses Thayer facilities for band practice at no charge.
- The Braintree Art Association uses The Thayer Gallery for its annual exhibition at no charge.
- Several Braintree youth athletic programs use the school’s Main Campus turf fields at no charge. Other local groups use various indoor facilities at discounted rates.
- In the summer, neighborhood residents have access to the Thayer swimming pool. In addition, neighbors surrounding the Thayer tennis courts have access to those courts.
- Thayer donates four weeks of Camp Thayer to the Braintree After-School Enrichment (BASE) fundraising event.
- Thayer Art Gallery shows are open to the community.
- Thayer Academy’s Project RISE provides educational enrichment programs to over 100 students from underserved communities each summer in addition to conducting weekend programs over the course of the school year.
- Thirty students tutor Dorchester students in grades 5-8 through Project DEEP (Dorchester Educational Enrichment Program).
- Students volunteer at the St Coletta’s School Halloween Dance, have lunch with students, and help produce the school’s play.
- Middle School students visit residents at Grove Manor Nursing Home.
- Sixth graders volunteer at the Meeting House Montessori School.
- Students collect donations for the Braintree Kids’ Closet.
- Students participate in local house-building projects through Habitat for Humanity. They raise $1,500 annually and donate water for volunteers. They recently hosted the first Humanity Craft Fair.
- Students participate in the Adopt-A-Family program at the Dianne DeVanna Center.
- Students host birthday parties and other resident gatherings at the Radius HealthCare Center.
- Students play sports with children with disabilities through Braintree’s Superstars program.
- Thayer has hosted fundraising lacrosse events at the South Athletic Campus such as the Catamount Classic, the Friends of Jaclyn Tournament, and the ISL Girls’ Lacrosse Tournament. These events have raised substantial funds for causes as varied as cancer research and support for victims of spousal abuse.
- Thayer’s annual Million Meter Marathon (rowing) attracts over 500 participants and has raised $45,000 in six years, to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, Fisher House Boston, and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
- In 2014 a group of 18 students manned a phone bank as part of a WRKO Radio Telethon for Fisher House Boston that raised $100,000 for the charity.
- Thayer donated $1,000 for a tent for Haiti Earthquake victims through a fundraiser run by the Braintree Rotary Club. Thayer students and faculty also participate in an annual basketball tournament called Hoops for Haiti that raises $1,500 each year.
- Students organize fundraisers for Father Bill’s, a homeless shelter in Quincy, and students/families provide and serve dinner there at least three times each year.
- Students collect books for Cradles to Crayons.
- Students raise about $3,000 annually for Pennies for Patients (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society).
- Thayer collects about 100 coats annually for Coats for Kids.
- Thayer’s Holiday Toy Project provides gifts for approximately 500 children through the Department of Social Services and Head Start Programs.
- Students donate food, clothing, and personal items for victims of domestic violence through DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended).
- Thayer donates about 60 baskets of food for Thanksgiving to the Quincy Community Action Program (QCAP).
- Thayer students committed to abstaining from alcohol and other drugs visit Weymouth elementary school 4th grade classes with a presentation on healthy decision-making.
- Around 50 Thayer students and faculty participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk each year.
- Thayer has been a Special Olympics site host for special needs students in Braintree schools, and Thayer students volunteer for the annual Special Olympics track & field event at Milton Academy.
- Around 70 Thayer donors participate in the January Blood Drive.
- Thayer's varsity hockey team raises money for the Lend-A-Hand program, which provides funds for needs that aren’t addressed by traditional social service programs.