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 nonprofits.
Below, discover how Thayer has been contributing resources, creating opportunities, and supporting its neighbors in Braintree and beyond since 1877.
Student & Program Contributions
- Sixty-seven Braintree students currently attend Thayer, making up approximately 10% of the student body and placing Braintree among the top three towns sending students to the Academy. Braintree students received $1,024,100 in financial aid this year, representing 12.7% of the total financial aid budget.
- More than 140 Braintree children engage in Camp Thayer’s summer programs.
Employment & Tax Contributions
- Approximately 25% of Thayer's full-time employees (43) reside in Braintree. Thayer pays these full-time employees and 40 part-time/seasonal employees over $4 million in annual salaries and benefits.
- Thayer Academy pays $104,203 in annual real estate taxes for each residential property it owns.
- By providing a ground lease for the Thayer Sports Center's operation, Thayer effectively removed its tax-exempt status, resulting in an additional $100,000 in annual tax revenue for the Town.
Financial Contributions & Support
- Thayer committed to a one-time unrestricted contribution of $100,000 over three years (2018-2021) to support town operations, in addition to over $250,000 paid for building and grading permit fees over the last decade.
- Thayer supports the Town’s use of its athletic fields for Braintree Parks and Recreation sports, valued at $45,000 for the 2021-22 school year.
- Annual contributions include $15,000 to the Braintree Public Library, $5,000 to the Braintree July 4th Celebration, and a one-time donation of $25,000 to the Children’s Room project.
Community Engagement & Business Relationships
- Thayer conducts over $1 million worth of business annually with 20 Braintree-based businesses.
- Thayer’s students, families, and employees actively support many local businesses.
- Thayer hosts the Braintree Public Schools Beginning-of-the-Year Administrative Retreat.
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 host Special Olympics Young Athletes 2023
Thayer faculty and staff, alumni, and students
helping out at Braintree Beautification Day 2023
Thayer's Annual Holiday Toy Drive benefitting families in Braintree
Community Facility Usage
- Civic agencies like the Braintree Public Library, Braintree Choral Society, Braintree Historical Society, and Braintree After-School Enrichment Program (BASE) have free access to Thayer's Center for the Arts (CFA).
- The Atlantic Symphony Orchestra performs the majority of its season’s concerts in the CFA at no charge, and the Arc of the South Shore holds a holiday concert and reception there.
- Braintree residents conduct summer interfaith prayer services on campus.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) holds weekly meetings in the campus dining hall.
Athletic & Recreational Support
- Town youth league teams use Thayer's South Athletic Campus fields for free during spring and fall seasons, amounting to around $50,000 annually in foregone rental revenues.
- Braintree High School's track & field and baseball teams occasionally utilize Thayer’s facilities.
- Braintree Braves Drum and Bugle Corps practices in Thayer facilities at no charge.
- Several Braintree youth athletic programs access the school’s Main Campus turf fields without charge, while other local groups use various indoor facilities at discounted rates.
- Neighborhood residents have summer access to the Thayer swimming pool, and those living near the Thayer tennis courts have access to those courts.
Collaborative Engagements & Community Events
- Thayer partners with the Braintree Business Council to host receptions for candidates running for public office.
- Thayer donates four weeks of Camp Thayer to the Braintree After-School Enrichment (BASE) fundraising event.
- The Koskores Art Gallery exhibitions are open to the community, and the Braintree Art Association holds its annual exhibition there for free.
Supporting Our Neighbors: Braintree & Beyond
Educational Enrichment & Academic Support
- The Thayer Academy Collaborative offers expanded learning opportunities during the summer for students from underrepresented groups, aiming to prevent summer learning loss among students from Boston and the South Shore.
- Project DEEP (Dorchester Educational Enrichment Program) involves thirty students tutoring Dorchester students in grades 5-8.
Community Engagement & Volunteerism
- Students engage in various volunteering activities such as assisting at the St. Coletta’s School Halloween Dance, lunch meetings, and producing the school’s play.
- Middle School students visit residents at Grove Manor Nursing Home, volunteer at Meeting House Montessori School, and participate in local house-building projects through Habitat for Humanity.
- Thayer students participate in programs like Adopt-A-Family, hosting gatherings at Radius HealthCare Center, and engaging in sports with children with disabilities through Braintree’s Superstars program.
Fundraising & Charitable Initiatives
- Thayer hosts multiple fundraising events, including lacrosse tournaments and the annual Million Meter Marathon (rowing), raising substantial funds for various causes like cancer research, support for abuse victims, and scholarships.
- Students organize fundraisers for various charitable organizations like Father Bill’s homeless shelter, Cradles to Crayons, Pennies for Patients, Coats for Kids, and DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended).
- Thayer also conducts donation drives for Thanksgiving food baskets, holiday gifts for children, and collects items for victims of domestic violence.
Health & Awareness Initiatives
- Students participate in educational programs, like making healthy decisions and visiting elementary schools, and participate in events such as the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and the Special Olympics track & field event.
- Thayer's varsity hockey team raises funds for the Lend-A-Hand program, supporting needs not covered by traditional social service programs.
- Around 70 Thayer donors partake in the January Blood Drive to support health initiatives.