Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence
The 2016-2017 school year is a time of great celebration for Cape Fear Academy! As we acknowledge our 50th Anniversary, we “Connect to the Past, Celebrate the Present, and Promote the Future.” We invite all who have been part of the CFA community to join us during this academic year to acknowledge our legacy.
50th Anniversary Celebrations & Events
Cheers to 50!
Friday, August 26
First Event: 1:30pm
Second Event: 2-3:00pm
A new opening of school tradition will begin with short ceremony and all seniors ringing a new bell in the Cameron Courtyard. All members of the extended CFA community are invited. This will be followed by a “pep rally-atmosphere” event in the main gym with food/social to follow.
Community Service Event
November 15 – 17, 2016
Days of community service which will include every student in some type of outside service; each group will do their service project in one day.
Friday, January 20, 2017
Special events to be added to the usual homecoming lineup.
Artist in Residence
One to two weeks of students working with a regional artist to create a community, commemorative art piece.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
An event for all alumni of CFA on the front athletic field with music, food, and fun!
The HISTORY of CAPE FEAR ACADEMY
Cape Fear Military Academy, a private military institution for boys, was founded in October 1868 by General Raleigh Edward Colston, a veteran of the Confederate Army. The school, located on the corner of Fourth and Mulberry (now Grace Street) in downtown Wilmington, opened with 76 students in attendance. Its purpose was to prepare students for college studies. Public education had been devastated by the Civil War, and while the state government was putting its schools back in order, education in many communities was limited to private institutions supported by tuition fees. In 1879, the school dropped the military features and changed its name to Cape Fear Academy. The school closed in 1916.
In February 1966, a group of Wilmington men, some of whom were descendants of alumni of Cape Fear Military Academy, formed the corporation, New Hanover Private Schools, Inc., in order to establish an independent school. Approximately 20 acres of land was donated on Highway 132 by Mr. Gilliam Horton and Mr. Alex Trask, and the school was built over the course of the next year.
Cape Fear Academy opened its doors officially on September 11, 1967 with 54 students in grades 1 through 6.
Mr. T.O. Page was named as the first Headmaster of the school. The gymnasium building, named for Mr. Bruce B. Cameron, Jr., was added in 1970. In 1971, Mr. Jack Davis became Headmaster, and twenty students became the first graduating class of the new Cape Fear Academy.
In 1975, Mr. John Tuplin assumed the role of Headmaster. During this time a kindergarten program was added. Mr. Robert Coleman was chosen as Headmaster in 1978. The program was expanded to include a Pre-Kindergarten program under his leadership in 1983 and additions were made to the main classroom building.
In 1987, the main classroom building was officially named Godwin Hall, in honor of Mr. James Z. Godwin, the same year in which Mr. Erich Cluxton was named Headmaster. Dr. Raymond Stone was the Interim Headmaster for the 1994-95 school year.
Mr. Jay Dewey became Headmaster in 1995. Planning for a major capital campaign began shortly afterward and construction of a classroom building for primary grades was completed in 1998. The Beane Wright Student Center was completed in 1999. The new Upper School building, named Cameron Hall in memory of Rachel Trask Cameron, opened in 2000. Dr. Clauston Jenkins served as Interim Headmaster for the 2001-2002 academic year.
Mr. John Meehl was appointed Headmaster for the 2002-2003 school year and served for 10 years. He successfully led another capital campaign beginning in 2007 which added an athletic complex across from the main campus in 2011, a new road looping the main campus, a new 43,000 square foot gymnasium with classrooms in 2011, and the Erin E. McNeill Fine Arts Center in 2012.
Mr. Donald S. Berger was appointed Head of School on July 1, 2012. In 2013 and 2014 the school graduated the largest class size in its history of 66 seniors. The Penton Dining Hall was renovated in 2014. A Greenhouse was built and opened in 2015.