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GRA Founders Day Celebrated in Game Show Style

GRA Founders Day Celebrated in Game Show Style

It is not too often someone can say their high school is celebrating its 185th Anniversary. At Grand River Academy’s Founders Day Ceremony, held in the Robert S. Morrison Lecture Center, we said just that – well actually, our students yelled out GRA's age. 

Putting a new twist on celebrating this anniversary as a GRA community, we held a Founders Day Feud Competition where two teams of faculty and students competed to answer questions based on Grand River Academy historical facts. Buzzing in to answer "What was GRA's name prior to being Grand River Institute?" and "What gift donated by the Class of 1971 beautified campus and can be seen from Green Hall?" our 10 contestants answered 15 questions spanning all 185 years of GRA history.

We even had two celebrity judges join the ranks to help explain each answer in greater detail. Mr. Larry Wilson, who served the GRA family for 41 years as a Social Studies teacher gave context to why Grand River Institute was moved to our current location and the several uses for the basement of Shepard Hall prior to the Productive Growth Center.

Mrs. Ginny Seifert, an Austinburg Community member and local historian, also provided explanations to answers given by the two teams. She shared with our students how John Brown Jr., a GRI alumnus, hid in her grandmother's house following his father's failed raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859, among several other stories.

It was invigorating to see our faculty and students so engaged in the history of GRA as they were during our Founders Day Feud. Even though Team 1831 dominated the competition, all participants were competitive and enjoyed the friendly historical “smack talk” between teams.

I think it is key for our current community here on campus to not only understand, but appreciate where our Academy has been in the past 185 years as our history shapes our present and molds our future. Having our students excited to read the GRA history book and take the time to learn what life was like as a student in the 1870s or the 1970s here on campus gives them the assurance that they have joined a long lasting community of GRA alumni who have succeeded before them and will continue to do so in the future.

As always, I welcome the opportunity to speak with any alumni or friend of Grand River Academy! Please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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