BIA Celebrates 20th Anniversary
Contributed by Lincoln LaGrotteria
We’d like to take a few moments and thank everyone who participated in and made our 20th Anniversary Week events possible! For those of our Bridgeport International Academy (BIA) family that were unable to attend, here’s a quick recap of our spectacular weekend.
On Thursday, April 20, BIA held its Spring Open House. The open house went from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., starting with all of the student volunteers gathering and guiding tours of the school. During the tours, parents were able to talk to teachers and students about BIA. At the close of the evening, Dr. Frank LaGrotteria, headmaster of BIA, gave a very lively talk about the merits of BIA in relation to the world around us. He emphasized BIA’s relationship with the University of Bridgeport (UB) and the need to build students of character. By the end of the evening, BIA had broken its record for Spring Open House attendees!
Our festivities continued on Friday with our Benefit Night, attended by about 100 guests. We are very grateful to Claudio Sanfrancesco from Jeffrey’s restaurant for providing the delicious food. The event started with an archival video from BIA’s 10th anniversary. There was a silent auction with many items donated by teachers, parents, students, alumni, and the community. Bidders left the night with items such as a Chinese tea set, a pearl bracelet, a literature basket, and a motorcycle ride with Dr. LaGrotteria. Thanks to the auction, the school raised $1,184 for the scholarship fund, which will help other students attend BIA.
The awards ceremony then began with Mr. Lincoln LaGrotteria giving out the Four Pillar Awards—the Academic Award, the Creativity Award, the Global Citizenship Award, and the Character Award—to five deserving students. There was also an amazing “a la carte” drama performance of Hamilton, Les Miserables, and Hamlet. The event culminated with the awarding of the 20th Anniversary Scholarship to an incoming freshman student. Thank you to all our guests for being part of such a meaningful night!
On Saturday, an alumni organizational meeting, a board of trustees meeting, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly christened Spurgin Hall were held. The alumni and board meetings started at 10:00 a.m., and we are grateful to the alumni who could attend. Those who came helped to form the BIA Alumni Association, which plans to become an active part of the school in the future. Then, at noon, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held where Dr. Hugh and Mrs. Nora Spurgin, the original heads of school, were celebrated with a ceremonial plaque and the new naming of the hall, Spurgin Hall! After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a video was shown that showcased the school and its accomplishments. Shortly afterwards, Dr. LaGrotteria called Dr. and Mrs. Spurgin up to share words on the founding of the school and the new assembly room. Those that were instrumental in the construction of the room were also acknowledged and thanked. We are very excited for all the different community and school events that will occur inside Spurgin Hall in the near future.
On Sunday, Spurgin Hall held its first ever Sunday Service, organized by Family Church of Connecticut. Dr. Spurgin warmly introduced Dr. LaGrotteria as the current headmaster of BIA. Dr. LaGrotteria provided the sermon entitled, “Buried Treasure,” which highlighted the core teachings of True Father to be pure, raise a family (which is also where we find redemption), and to be selfless through living a life of public service.
We wrapped up our celebration of our 20-year anniversary on Monday morning with a special morning assembly. Students were shown a video about the past of BIA and Dr. LaGrotteria then introduced Dr. and Mrs. Spurgin. They shared with the students about the history of BIA and the building of Spurgin Hall. Dr. LaGrotteria gave a special award to Mr. Zambon, the building manager, for his work on bringing the room to completion. To conclude 20th Anniversary Week, the whole school celebrated with a song and cake.
Come Join Bridgeport International Academy
Founded on January 2, 1997 on the grounds of the historic Seaside Institute, BIA has served the greater Bridgeport community for the past 20 years. BIA is a college preparatory high school that has high academic standards and rigorous curriculum, promotes a culture of caring and community service, has high ethical standards and teaches character education, has a great drama and digital arts program, and consists of a diverse, international student body. BIA welcomes all to attend its open houses in April and October. Positioned adjacent to the beautiful seaside campus of the University of Bridgeport, BIA also provides access to university facilities and courses at the University of Bridgeport.
Students and families are welcome to join BIA in taking a school tour or participating in student shadowing. Please call (203) 334-3434 to RSVP by phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit our website at bridgeportacademy.org.