In memory of Hugh Sackett, Groton’s longest-serving Faculty Member
Groton School, 20.04.2020
Groton School is mourning the loss of its longest-serving faculty member—a teacher and scholar who influenced the lives of generations of students. Leyland Hugh Sackett, who spent sixty-three years at Groton and taught until just a few years ago, passed away after a long illness on April 12, 2020, at age 91.
Letters poured in after Groton School’s extended community learned of the loss: “A gentle, brilliant, and inclusive man.” “A true inspiration, role model, imparter of knowledge, and friend.” “Loved and revered.” Mr. Sackett’s legacy extends beyond his own accomplishments as a teacher, classicist, and archaeological scholar to those of the students he inspired in his classes at Groton. His two professional lives—teaching Latin, Greek, and archaeology at Groton and conducting archaeological field work in Greece—overlapped, to the enormous benefit of Groton students. A recognized authority on Bronze Age Greece, Mr. Sackett often took students and alumni with him on excavations to Greece—memorable trips of archaeology, cultural immersion, and adventure.
Notably, Mr. Sackett—an internationally recognized scholar who conducted field work throughout Greece with the British School at Athens, wrote landmark books and articles, and received the Archaeological Institute of America’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement—was also a beloved teacher, dorm head, and coach. And he nurtured Groton students at all levels. “In his calm, patient way, he would encourage those students for whom Latin was a challenge and challenge those for whom it was not,” wrote Bill Polk ’58, Groton’s headmaster from 1978 to 2003 and a former student of Mr. Sackett’s, in the 2018 spring Groton School Quarterly.