Blue Ridge School

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For other uses, see Blue Ridge High School.
Blue Ridge School
St. George, Virginia, United States
Type private, all-male boarding school
Established 1909
Headmaster William "Trip" Darrin
Enrollment 195
Student to teacher ratio 5:1
Color(s)           Blue and White
Mascot Barons

Blue Ridge School is a private, all-male boarding school for students grades 9-12 in Saint George, Virginia, near Charlottesville. The school was founded in 1909 by the Reverend George P. Mayo. About 190 students attend Blue Ridge from 33 states and ten foreign countries, with many from Virginia and the rest of the South. The school's campus is 751 acres (3 km²) and adjoins the Shenandoah National Park at the base of Brokenback Mountain.


The School opened its doors to about 35 students early in 1910, and when the word "industrial" was removed from the title years later, it added to the School's stature as an academic institution. Blue Ridge School held its first commencement in 1918, when two graduates were awarded diplomas. Five years after the School opened its doors, 49 boarding students and 44 day students attended Blue Ridge and the school has since expanded numerous times. The original 148 acre (0.6 km²) campus, located 20 miles (32 km) from Charlottesville, Virginia, sits at the foothills of the historic Blue Ridge Mountains. The campus has grown to nearly 750 acres (3.2 km²) and includes a lake and several ponds. The Robert A. Gibson Memorial Chapel, the Martha Bagby Battle House (Headmaster’s Residence) and the old St. George Post Office still stand on Blue Ridge School's grounds. The Gibson Memorial Chapel and Martha Bagby Battle House at Blue Ridge School was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.[1]

Headmaster Hatcher C. Williams felt that the capable boy, with just a little help, could learn to take care of himself and maximize his growth academically and personally. That philosophy still prevails on the campus. In 1962, the School was reorganized by a Board of Trustees into today’s program - a college preparatory boarding school for boys, some of whom did not realize their potential in other settings. The current headmaster is Trip Darrin. Today, Blue Ridge School asserts that it is dedicated to providing a sound college-prep education for capable and willing young men. Blue Ridge is a supportive, structured community where self-esteem is founded upon solid accomplishment in the classroom, on the athletic fields, in the arts and in a host of co-curricular activities. 100% of its graduates are accepted into colleges and universities. School programs emphasize the development and refinement of individual talents and skills essential to the success and fulfillment in academics and life.


Blue Ridge School has many sports and participates in the fall, winter and spring seasons. It participates in the Old Dominion Football Conference (ODFC), the Cavalier Athletic Conference (CAC), and the Virginia Independent Conference (VIC) for Varsity Soccer. The basketball team is consistently one of the best basketball teams in Virginia, and has competed in the State finals. In 2012 the Football team won the VISAA division II state championship. The school's first state championship since 2001, and the first for football since 1994. It has a 22,000 square foot (2,000 m²) field house and its sports Include:


  • V Cross-Country
  • JV Cross-Country
  • JV Football
  • JV Soccer
  • Mountain Biking
  • V Football
  • V Soccer
  • Outdoor Adventure Sports
 (including canoeing/kayaking, hunting)


  • Indoor Soccer
  • JV Basketball
  • Outdoor Sports
  • Varsity B Basketball
  • Varsity Basketball
  • Wrestling


  • Outdoor Adventure Sports
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • V Lacrosse
  • JV Lacrosse
  • V Tennis
  • JV Tennis
  • Track & Field

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Julian Van Winkle III '69 is the third generation Van Winkle to be involved in the Kentucky Bourbon whiskey business. His grandfather "Pappy" started the business in the 1870s when he was a salesman for the W.L. Weller & Sons liquor wholesalers in Louisville. Pappy later built and was president of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, which opened its doors on Derby day, 1935. Their prominent brands were W.L.Weller, Rebel Yell, Cabin Still and Old Fitzgerald bourbons. Julian's father, Julian, Jr., operated the distillery until the family sold it in 1972. At that time Julian, Jr. started the Old Rip Van Winkle brand with some of the whiskey he made while he was at Stitzel-Weller. Julian joined his dad in 1977. Julian continued to operate the business after his father's death in 1981. Julian now has his whiskey produced for him under his grandfather's original “wheated” bourbon recipe. He ages and bottles the Old Rip Van Winkle brands in Frankfort, Kentucky. His whiskeys are the highest rated whiskeys available. The 20-year old Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve has received a rating of 99 by the Wine Enthusiast. His 13-year old rye whiskey was the first premium-aged rye whiskey. In 2001 Julian's son Preston joined the business with his father. He is the fourth Van Winkle to sell these premium bourbon and rye whiskeys. In January of 2010, Julian was inducted as a new member into the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans and Chefs – a group of some of the most talented people in the industry.

In March of 2009 and 2010, Julian was nominated for a James Beard award under the category of Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional. James Beard awards are the Oscars of the food and beverage world. In May of 2011, Julian won the prestigious Wine & Spirits award and was at the Lincoln Center in New York City to receive the award. He was the first Kentuckian to receive a James Beard award.

In the news: Garden & Gun, August/September 2012, The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2013

  • Chazz Woodson '01 Professional lacrosse player for the Ohio Machine


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°15′54.5″N 78°33′18.8″W / 38.265139°N 78.555222°W / 38.265139; -78.555222