On Tuesday, March 5, The Gregory School community was honored to host our founding head of school, the Reverend Russell W. Ingersoll, and his family—Mrs. Patricia Ingersoll, daughter Laura Ingersoll Dunnigan (‘89), and Laura’s children, Morgan and Connor. Mr. Ingersoll was named “headmaster” of what was then called St. Gregory High School from 1980 - 1988.
The Ingersolls eagerly shared stories of our school’s early years, including the time they moved a former Pizza Hut building onto campus (to serve as the school office) at five o’clock on a Sunday morning, so as not to alarm the neighbor, but got caught when the trailer got stuck in the mud as they crossed his yard. Mr. Ingersoll described working with the school’s founder, Mrs. Ruth “Bazy” Tankersley, to obtain our property, which included a ranch house that would serve as the classroom building. “We announced an open house and we couldn’t believe it when cars started coming down Craycroft. People were actually arriving,” Mr. Ingersoll said.
“And I was standing in a bedroom, saying, ‘This will be the French class,’” Mrs. Ingersoll laughed.
“We got some great students here, who took a huge risk in coming here, and within three years, we had a college day, and we were getting schools from the Ivy League and all over the country coming to recruit our students,” Mr. Ingersoll said.
As much as our school has changed, some things remain the same: Mrs. Tankersley and Mr. Ingersoll realized early on that to attract and retain excellent students, they would rely on a talented and extraordinary faculty. “That’s where we put our resources,” Mr. Ingersoll said. And, nearly 40 years later, our stellar Gregory School faculty continue the tradition. We want to thank Mr. Ingersoll for his vision and for helping us become who we are today.
Please enjoy this short "before and after" video.