Hawken started the new millennia strong by winning three state championships in the year 2000: girls track, girls swimming, and boys soccer. This success in athletics helped build momentum for the “Hawken Takes the Plunge” campaign to raise money for the new pool and athletic complex, which required a reconfiguration of the gym and included the addition of a new weight room. In 2007, plans for Walton Stadium were announced, and by 2008, two turf fields and stadium lights became welcome additions to Hawken’s athletic facilities. Hawken finally had “Friday Night Lights.”
Major facility and curriculum changes occurred to focus on the more technological and educational advances of the new millennia. The groundbreaking for the second major building project during Berkman’s tenure, Lincoln Hall, was held in May of 2005. This new addition was designed with classrooms around central pods to create spaces for collaborative learning and community building. Technological advancements to the curriculum included Smartboards in classrooms during the 2004-2005 school year and by 2009, the one-to-one tablet program was piloted in the 6th grade before expanding throughout the Middle and Upper Schools.
In the midst of all of these changes, Jim Berkman announced his acceptance of a position as head of school at Boston University Academy, effective July of 2006. His success paved the way for D. Scott Looney, Hawken’s tenth head of school in 2006, which coincided with the Grand Opening of Lincoln Hall. D. Scott Looney’s first year was known as a Year of Discovery as a way to conduct “numerous studies necessary to inform us as we work to strategically position Hawken for the coming years.” In 2007, a five-year strategic plan was drafted to clarify Hawken’s purpose, strengthen curriculum and engagement, and implement a new urban campus in University Circle. To meet the goals of this plan, Looney and his team developed the Readiness Initiative.
In December of 2007, the board announced the purchase of a new property on University Circle’s Magnolia Avenue that would later become the Sally & Gries Center for Experiential and Service Learning, which was designed to offer students more character building and social skills, critical and creative thinking skills, interdisciplinary skills.
Significant developments during the latter part of the decade included the Geller EcoGarden at Lyndhurst and the Lucier Writing Center at Gates Mills. The STEMM program was also expanded and in 2009, the Upper School started the House System, which aimed to renew a spirit of community and service among the Upper School student body. Upon arrival at the Gates Mills campus, each student is assigned to one of four houses, named for their historic significance in the life of the School: Ansel, Bolton, Chester, and Mather.