Gilmour Academy

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Gilmour Academy
GilmourAcademy Crest.png
To develop the competence to see and the courage to act in creating a more humane and just society.
34001 Cedar Road
Gates Mills, Ohio, (Cuyahoga County), 44040
United States
Coordinates 41°30′14″N 81°26′13″W / 41.50389°N 81.43694°W / 41.50389; -81.43694Coordinates: 41°30′14″N 81°26′13″W / 41.50389°N 81.43694°W / 41.50389; -81.43694
Type Private, Day & Boarding
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1946
Headmaster Br. Robert E. Lavelle, C.S.C.
Faculty 87
Grades K-12
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment Total: 685
Upper: 435 (2013)
Average class size 15
Student to teacher ratio 10:1
Campus Suburban, 144 acres (0.58 km2)
Color(s) Blue & Gray         
Athletics 22 sports
Mascot Lancers
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools [1]
Average SAT scores median SAT verbal: 637, median SAT math: 624 median combined SAT: 1261
Affiliation Congregation of Holy Cross

Gilmour Academy is an independent, Roman Catholic, coeducational, college-preparatory school in the Cleveland suburb of Gates Mills, Ohio. Founded in 1946 by the Brothers of Holy Cross, it offers a Montessori preschool program through grade 12. A boarding program is available to students in grades 7–12. Gilmour Academy is chartered through the state of Ohio; accredited through the Independent School Association of Central States (ISCACS) and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA); and a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Ohio Association of Independent Schools (OAIS), and the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES).


Gilmour Academy's main administrative building

Gilmour's 144-acre (0.58 km2) campus has experienced significant growth and expansion in recent years. The Lynn and Michael Kelley Middle School and Fine Arts Building houses a Broadcast Media Center where students can learn and practice with digital media technology. The chapel serves as a venue for liturgical events and student convocation. Gilmour’s Athletic Center houses two NHL-sized ice rinks and a fitness center. New artificial turf was installed in 2004 in a multiple-use field for football, soccer, and lacrosse. In 2009 a new gymnasium and aquatic center complete with new locker rooms were completed.


Gilmour Academy was founded in 1946 when a group of Brothers of Holy Cross from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana began a select boarding school which was named in honor of Bishop Richard Gilmour, the second Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and a champion of Catholic education. The school opened in 1946 with a faculty of nine Brothers and an initial enrollment of 45 eighth and ninth grade boys. The following year, the school shifted to a four-year curriculum. Gilmour added its Middle School in 1973. In 1982, Gilmour merged with Glen Oak School, making it a coeducational institution. The Lower School and Montessori preschool program were established in 1985. In the fall of 2013, the Montessori program was expanded to include students 18-months to age 5.

Upper School[edit]

The main classroom building at Gilmour Academy's Upper School

At Gilmour Academy’s Upper School, curriculum is designed to prepare students for college-level work, with 90-minute class periods and a Socratic instructional style based on the concept of student as worker and teacher as coach. Four Gilmour Upper School students have been listed as co-authors of scientific papers and another presented a scientific paper and won an award held by the American Chemical Society. All four students were part of Gilmour’s Catalyst program, an extracurricular mentorship program that connects students with experts in industry, government, and academia.

At the conclusion of their education at Gilmour, students devote their final month to a senior project. They identify an area of interest and design an internship around it followed by a final presentation about how Gilmour’s essential goals and objectives relate to their internship experience.

Gilmour places a great deal of value on service to the community, and participation in a community service program is requisite for graduation. Students must meet a 60-hour standard to graduate, and many students surpass the requirement.

Campus history[edit]

Francis Edson Drury, a former resident of Millionaires Row (Euclid Avenue) purchased and built his home on the current grounds of Gilmour Academy. Francis Drury was a wealthy, self-made industrialist. He is famous for inventing the kerosene stove, as well as the first internal-gear lawnmower. He was partners with Standard Oil's John D. Rockefeller. The sprawling 144 acre estate featured some of the most state of the art equipment and was maintained by approximately 30 staff members. The home was designed by architect Charles S. Schneider who also designed the Drury's home on Euclid Ave. The woodwork and paneling was done in New York and stones were brought from the Chagrin River to build the house.It features a tower that, on a clear day, you can see the Chagrin Valley as well as Cleveland. According to Cleveland Magazine, "He loved architecture as well as artistry, and his two massive Cleveland-area mansions remain landmarks decades after his stoves' flames burned out." To announce their moving, the Drurys thew an elegant and incredibly expensive party and invited many of Cleveland's elite. According to Gilmour Academy's 2010 Magazine, "The planning took months; staff served the finest foods and wines; and parking for 400 chauffeured cars was arranged. The cut flowers alone cost $3,000 dollars!" However, it is thought that social rivals of the Drurys, the Van Sweringin brothers, who originally wanted the land Drury built his house on, told people to boycott the party. The elites of Cleveland already did not like Drury since he was "self-made" and didn't come from wealth. Though the party was expected to be packed, only 40 people showed up. Piqued by this disrespect the Drurys soon after abandoned their brand new home for their home in Georgia where Drury soon passed away. The vast estate was maintained by a "skeleton-crew" for 16 years until in 1944, it was purchased by the Brothers of the Holy Cross to establish "an elite all boys boarding school." They transformed the decrepit property and home into a school and named it after Bishop Richard Gilmour. The school evolved into the current day Gilmour Academy we know. Gilmour, at the time an all boys school, merged with the nearby Glenn Oak, an all girls school in 1983. Glenn Oak became Gilmour Academy's Lower School and Gilmour became a coed school. Drury's mansion, which became known as "tudor house" now serves as Gilmour Academy's business and admission offices. It is also now used to host parties and school functions.

Middle School[edit]

Lynn and Michael Kelley Middle School.

Gilmour first established a Middle School program in 1974, under the directorship of Brother Carl Shonk, C.S.C. Its curriculum is designed to engage students to perform well academically while providing compassionate encouragement for developing young-adult students. The curriculum strongly emphasizes problem solving throughout its various subjects. Middle school students are assigned advisors who work with students individually to assist with academic and social issues.

In 2004, Gilmour constructed the $6.2 million Kelley Middle School and Fine Arts Building. The 37,000-square-foot (3,400 m2) building offers science labs and classrooms, a common area to exhibit student work and host casual gatherings, several computer labs, music and visual arts studios for photography, ceramics, and art classes, and a computerized graphics center.

Lower School[edit]

Gilmour's Lower School curriculum focuses on in-depth learning rather than the delivery of a certain amount of information. It attempts to make lessons personally significant to students while covering material all students need to know. Faculty are required to make connections among various subjects and to expose students to natural connections among their courses. Lower School students have competed at the state or national levels of National History Day over the last several years.

A recent $2.5 million expansion to the Lower School facilities included a music center with practice rooms and keyboard lab, library with a computer lab, a science lab, classrooms with access to the Internet and wireless laptops, exhibition area, and an electronic research center.


Founded by the Brothers of Holy Cross, Gilmour Academy's mission statement embodies its spiritual and societal philosophy - "to develop the competence to see and the courage to act in creating a more humane and just society." Students in all grade levels receive religious education from a Catholic and Christian perspective. Students are also exposed to the traditions of other faiths, and are encouraged to be accepting of all faith communities. Students are required to attend Mass once monthly as well as on major feast days, where those who are able receive the sacraments. Gilmour's religious program also extends to participation in retreats, service to the poor, and daily contemplation.


Gilmour Academy's Broadcast Media Center.

In 2006, Gilmour constructed a 800-square-foot (74 m2) Broadcast Media Center designed to help students learn to work with digital media technology and become more critical media consumers. The facility houses video editing and audio dubbing stations, a news set with studio space, and Avid digital video editing software similar to that used by professionals in the film and television industries.

The Gilmour campus contains approximately 400 computers, the majority of which run Microsoft Windows 7, at the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. Students are also given the option to use their own personal computers during classes. The Gilmour Virtual Library, a web site developed in-house by library staff, includes research resources for many projects and topics. Gilmour provides high-speed access to the Internet via a dual T1 connection from every classroom and computer lab on campus. Many classrooms are wired for multimedia capabilities to assist with instruction and project presentations, and a wireless network is available in most areas on campus.

Boarding program[edit]

Murphy Residence Hall.

Gilmour maintains a boarding program for students in grades 7–12. Gilmour has resident students from both the United States and various other countries around the world such as Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, China, Spain, and India. The residence program includes supervised study hall, chaperoned activities, and personal advising and mentoring.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Gilmour offers many extracurricular activities in the fields of art and music, forensics, journalism, service, and sports. The school's Speech and Debate Team is ranked in the top one percent of the National Forensics League and has won the Northern Ohio District Championship in the Ohio High School Speech League for over 20 consecutive years. Gilmour orators have represented Northeast Ohio six out of the last seven years at the state level at the Sons of the American Revolution Oratorical Contest, and three students have finished in the top three positions nationally. Gilmour's Four Person Policy Debate Team won the State Championship in 2001 and 2003, and took second in Ohio in 2007. Speech and Debate alumni have had much success at the college level and beyond, including winning the National Debate Championship in Washington D.C. in 2009. Gilmour's Academic Challenge Team has competed in the finals on WEWS NewsChannel 5 for two out of the last three years and were champions in 2007. The Academy's Drama Club was invited twice to perform at the American High School Theater Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has earned a Superior Rating for 13 consecutive years from the Ohio Theater Alliance. Gilmour now Boasts a Pep Band that plays at all Gilmour football games and Gilmour Boys basketball games. The program started in the Fall of 2006 and now has a full line of Yamaha Snare and Bass drums. The program is advised by musical director David Kilkenny who has been at Gilmour since Fall of 2005. The Pep Band is offered to all students 7th grade to 12th grade. "It's a fun time and it adds a great dynamic to the football games and basketball games at GA," says one Gilmour Student, "It's something that hasn't been done at the Academy in years." Currently, Gilmour offers an amateur radio club that educates students in the practice of amateur radio broadcasting and communication.


GilmourAcademy Athletics.JPG

Gilmour's comprehensive athletic program consists of 23 varsity sports and many teams at the junior varsity, freshmen, and Middle School levels. More than 70 percent of Gilmour’s students participate in at least one sport out of a variety offered—football, baseball, basketball, hockey, track and field, golf, soccer, cross country, tennis, volleyball, swimming, cheerleading, lacrosse and softball. The Boys Prep Hockey Program is consistently ranked among the top in the nation and is a member of the Midwest Prep Hockey League. The 2010–11 Boys Prep Team, led by first year coach Scott Stirling, won the USA Hockey Mid-American Region Championship and is currently competing for the National Title.[2] This was the first year that the Prep team has competed at Nationals. The Lancers Varsity Football Team has been traditionally known as a top team in their region until recent years.

Hockey program[edit]

Gilmour Academy's hockey program was created in 1997 with one varsity team. In the following five years a Boys Prep team, a Girls Prep team, and a junior varsity team were created. At the helm of the Boys Prep team's creation was current program director and Varsity Team coach, John Malloy.

Gilmour's Boys Prep team is known as one of the top Prep teams in the United States, and is the only team of its kind in Ohio. The team is compiled of international players, players from outside of Ohio, and some local players. The team has found recent success their Mid-America Regional Championship victory, and a birth to the National Championship in Simsbury, CT in 2011. This was the team's first Regional Championship and visit to Nationals in their 10-year history. The team is also apart of the Midwest Prep Hockey League, in which the league contains teams from all over Canada, and the Midwest and New England area of the United States.

The Boys Varsity is one of the best team's in the state of Ohio. The team consists mainly of local players and some from outside the state, thanks to the resident hall, the varsity and jv teams are used as feeder teams to the Boys Prep team. However, while the team is compiled of younger players, they have still found success. Consistently the team has a very respectable record, have won two District Championships, two State Final Four appearances, and one State Runners up in their 16-year existence. The Varsity team has recently joined in a newly created eight team league with other Northeast Ohio High School Hockey powers Saint Ignatius High School (Cleveland), Saint Edward, University School, Walsh Jesuit High School, Holy Name High School, Padua Franciscan High School, and Lake Catholic High School.

Gilmour's extensive athletic facilities include[edit]

  • A 3,700-square-foot (340 m2) athletic center with two NHL-size hockey rinks
  • A fully equipped fitness center
  • A stadium recently outfitted with synthetic turf for football, soccer, and lacrosse
  • Tennis courts
  • Soccer, lacrosse, baseball, and fast-pitch softball fields
  • A field house with three regulation courts for volleyball, basketball, a batting cage, and an indoor track
  • An all-weather golf practice green
  • An indoor swimming pool
  • Two gymnasiums
  • Four Basketball Courts

Construction of the 600-seat gymnasium, aquatic center, and locker rooms began in the fall of 2008 and was completed in the fall of 2009.

Ohio High School Athletic Association State Championships[edit]

* co-champs

Notable alumni[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2009-06-23. [dead link]
  2. ^ Gilmour1992. "Gilmour Prep heads to Nationals". Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association Web site". Retrieved 2006-12-31. 

External links[edit]