FA in the 1960s

This decade was a period of great change for Friends Academy. With the Vietnam war, the closing years of the Civil Rights Era, and the Kennedy assassinations, a wide range of perspectives appeared along with a strong and rising interest in social justice. To encourage dialogue, the Red and Black began its Liberal/Conservative columns, which appeared side-by-side for several years. The Peace Committee was formed around this same time while the Friends Academy Peace Prize began in 1966. One of its recipients included the Peace Corps in 1967. In 1967, the Current Affairs and Debating Society (CADS) invited Robert F. Kennedy to speak at the school. Photographs from this event are located within the Lectures, Assemblies, Special Events, Visiting Artists, Dolan Gallery, Book Fair, and Harlem Wizards collection. Student aid efforts were high during this time and included a range of projects: raising money for medical supplies to North and South Vietnamese people, working with urban renewal projects, spreading awareness about the dangers of carbon emissions, and working with the American Friends Service Committee to advise students facing the draft about alternative service programs.

From 1960 to 1965, Alexander T. McNutt served as Headmaster with Rodman G. Pellett serving as Acting Headmaster from 1965 to 1966. In 1966, Ted B. Withington became Headmaster and would remain so until 1988, an era affectionally referred to by students in the Red and Black as "The Withington Era." In 1967, Withington and the Board of Trustees outlined a long-range plan that included changes like supporting a "more flexible and individualized curriculum" and "a more closely-coordinated Upper and Lower School program" along with expanding facilities and developing land. During the 1960s, the school increased the diversity of its student body and established financial funds to further this goal.