The Fessenden School is deeply saddened by the recent death of Hart Fessenden '41, Trustee Emeritus, and grandson of the School’s founder, Frederick James Fessenden. Hart's father, Hart Fessenden ’09, was the School’s second headmaster from 1935 to 1967. Hart grew up on the Fessenden’s campus and lived in Hart House named for his grandmother Emma Hart Fessenden. After Fessenden, Hart attended Milton Academy, Yale College, and Harvard Law School, and served in the Marines during World War II. An ardent, long-time supporter of Fessenden, Hart served on the Board of Trustees from 1987-2001, and in 2001 earned the title of Trustee Emeritus for his distinguished service to the School.
In both 2001 and 2005, Hart delivered thoughtful and poignant remarks at Fessenden’s Commencement ceremony. During his most recent address, he highlighted dramatic changes since he graduated in 1941–important world events, space travel, desegregation in schools and the military–and shared about his family’s founding of The Fessenden School in 1903. He also offered important advice to the graduates, “Show respect for others. You are growing up in an increasingly diversified country. Today respect for others is more important than ever. Be confident in your own views and defend them vigorously, but respect the views of others. Listen to people. Don’t be arrogant to others or their ideas.” Hart’s advice endures and is important for today’s students.
The Fessenden School community extends sincere condolences to the entire Fessenden family, and most especially to Nancy, Hart’s wife of 68 years, and their three sons, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.