|Motto||Cui servire est regnare ("for whom to serve is to rule" or "in whose service is perfect freedom")|
|Type||Private Coeducational Secondary Boarding|
|Headmaster||Richard B. Commons|
|Location||Groton, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|Campus||Suburban / Rural|
The school is a member of the Independent School League and is universally recognized as one of the most selective and elite boarding schools in New England. In late 2007, the Wall Street Journal listed Groton School as one of the world's top 50 schools for its success in preparing students to enter top American universities.
Groton School was founded in 1884 by the Rev. Endicott Peabody, a member of a Massachusetts family and an Episcopal clergyman. The land for the school was donated to Peabody by two brothers, James and Prescott Lawrence, whose family home was located on Farmers Row in Groton, Massachusetts, north of Groton School's present location. Backed by affluent figures of the time, such as the Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks, the Rev. William Lawrence, William Crowninshield Endicott, J.P. Morgan, and his father, Samuel Endicott Peabody, Peabody received pledges of $39,000 for the construction of a schoolhouse, if an additional $40,000 could be raised as an endowment. (According to the school's 2006 calendar year tax returns, the endowment is worth over $368,000,000 today.)
Peabody served as headmaster of the school for over fifty years, until his retirement in 1940. He instituted a Spartan educational system that included cold showers and cubicles, subscribing to the model of "muscular Christianity" which he himself experienced at Cheltenham College in England as a boy. Peabody hoped to graduate men who would serve the public good, rather than enter professional life. The school's motto, "Cui Servire Est Regnare," taken from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, translates as "whose service is perfect freedom," (an excerpt of the longer, "O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom;"), emphasizing the goals of its founder.
The Rev. Endicott Peabody was succeeded at the end of the 1940 school year by the Rev. John Crocker, who had been for 10 years the chaplain for Episcopal students at Princeton University. He himself was a 1918 graduate of Groton School; 15 members of his family were alumni. Crocker's tenure included the advances of African American civil rights. In September 1951, three years before the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision outlawing segregation in public schools, Groton School accepted its first African-American student. In April 1965 Crocker and his wife, accompanied by 75 Groton School students, marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during a civil rights demonstration in Boston. After 25 years as headmaster at Groton School, he retired in June 1965.
Groton School has changed significantly since 1884. Originally, it admitted only boys; the school became coeducational in 1975. Although most students in the early years were from New England and New York, its students now come from across the country and around the world. However, some traditions remain, such as the school's commitment to public service, its small community, and its attachment to the Episcopal Church.
The school has been used as a setting for several novels including Louis Auchincloss' Rector of Justin (1964). Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep (2005) has prompted speculation that the fictitious Ault School, the main setting of the novel, is in fact Groton School, as they bear striking resemblances and Sittenfeld herself attended Groton. Media coverage of the school came in the spring of 1999, when three Groton seniors alleged that they and other students had been sexually abused by students in dormitories in 1996 and 1997.  During the school's investigation of the matter, another student brought a similar complaint to the school's attention.  In 2005, the school pled guilty in criminal court to a misdemeanor charge of failing to report this younger student's sexual abuse complaint to the state and paid a $1,250 fine. The school issued an apology to the victims, and the civil suit stemming from the first student's complaint was settled out of court.   On 25 October 2012, Groton named Temba Maqubela as its 8th headmaster, succeeding Richard Commons.
Currently, Groton is one of three secondary boarding schools in the country to offer free education to qualified students from families with household incomes below $75,000 a year.
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Groton's 385-acre (1.56 km2) campus encompasses rolling forests, expansive meadows, a portion of the Nashua river, and various athletic fields, as well as academic buildings and dormitories. Most of the buildings on campus are situated around the Circle, which is the School's circular common green with a circumference of 1/3 of a mile. Tradition prohibits students from crossing the Circle to reach the opposite side of the campus. The School's buildings include St. John's Chapel, the Schoolhouse, Brooks House and Hundred House Dormitories, the McCormick Library (approximately 60,000 volumes and over 100 periodicals), the Campbell Performing Arts Center, the Dining Hall, the Dillon Art Center and De Menil Gallery. Other facilities include the Athletic and Recreation Center, Pratt and O'Brien Rinks and Tennis Center, the Bingham Boathouse, outdoor tennis clay courts and hardcourts, and many faculty homes. The landscape was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who is noted for his design of Central Park in New York City and various other academic institutions.
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The students are divided into forms ranging from Second form to Sixth form (8th to 12th grade). Second and third formers live in Brooks House, part of Lower School, with their prefects; fourth, fifth, and the remaining sixth formers live in Hundred House, also known as Upper School, and in two dorms in Brooks House. Each dorm has 2–8 prefects, and is headed and named after a faculty member who has an apartment that is connected to the dorm.
In the 2007–2008 school year there were 355 students, 172 boys and 183 girls; 313 boarders and 42 day students and faculty/staff children. A breakdown by Forms is as follows: Second Form (8th grade) – 35; Third Form (9th grade) – 70; Fourth Form (10th grade) – 87; Fifth Form (11th grade) – 77; Sixth Form (12th grade) – 86. At the start of the 2009 school year, there were 372 students enrolled.
In 2007, the median SAT I scores were 690 reading, 700 writing, and 690 math. Between 2003 and 2007, Groton graduates attended the following nine colleges most frequently (in order): Harvard University, Georgetown University, Brown University, Trinity College, Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, Yale University, Vanderbilt University, and Tufts University.
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Groton is an intimate community as 90% of students are boarders and most teachers live on campus in dorms or faculty housing. Classes are small, ranging from 12 to 14 students. There are regularly scheduled sit-down dinners during fall term and during spring term; at sit-down dinner, faculty and students dress up formally and sit down for a proper 45 minute dinner and are served by students assigned as waiters. On the School's birthday in the fall, sit-down dinner features a jolly singing of "Blue Bottles" (the tune is similar to "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall"). At the request of the VIth form, the members of which yell "We want blue bottles!", the Vth form gathers at the entrance to the dining hall and, under the conductorship of the youngest faculty alumnus, who sets the tempo of the song by swinging a large carving knife back and forth, counts down the age of the School. Following Monday evening sit-down dinners, many students and faculty gather in the Webb–Marshall Room below the dining hall for an intramural debate featuring members of the School's Debating Society — Groton's oldest extracurricular organization. These debates also feature the Triple Speak, a fun and lighthearted extemporaneous speech during which the speaker must address at first only a single random word, but then incorporate a second and, finally, a third random word, which are announced during the speech.
On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, the Groton community begins the day with Chapel, which is followed by Roll Call. Originally intended for taking attendance, Roll Call is now a general assembly where daily announcements are made. Led by one of the School's two Senior Prefects, or one of the School's two House Prefects (all of whom are members of the VIth Form and are elected by their peers), Roll Call usually features both clever and entertaining skits and serious announcements. Once a term, the Headmaster calls off class and announces a Surprise Holiday. Surprise Holiday is announced at Roll Call by the appearance of a bright green jacket, usually integrated into a skit. A particularly memorable announcement was when, one fall, a helicopter landed in the middle of the circle, from which three triumphant VIth formers marched out (one wearing the Green Jacket). On a day near the end of the year, the VIth form collectively will conduct a filibuster during Roll Call, causing the meeting to run well into (and sometimes right through) first period. However, since the installment of the current headmaster, the administration has been less lenient and the filibuster seems to be a dying tradition. The class of 2009 revived this tradition by holding an hour and forty five minute long filibuster through second period on Monday, May 18, 2009. On May 23, 2011 the senior class followed suit and conducted an outdoor filibuster at both the boathouse and on the Triangle running trails; the filibuster lasted through all of 3rd period (11:30 AM).
One of the most notable of the School's traditions is hand-shaking. Each day at Groton concludes with students shaking hands with their dorm heads and prefects. As part of the School's Prize Day (commencement) proceedings, every member of the VIth form shakes hands with both the entire faculty and all underclassmen. After examinations, a similar ritual takes place as all underclassmen shake hands with the faculty before leaving for summer vacation. Groton announces itself as a diverse and intimate community and they are in fact very diverse. They have over 30% students of color and 10% international students.
The School holds an annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols similar to the famous one held yearly at King's College at Cambridge University in England. Groton's service, which dates to the 1930s, is only a few years younger than the one in Cambridge.
Groton's two most notable publications are The Circle Voice and The Grotonian. The Circle Voice is the student newspaper and publishes three times a term. The Grotonian is a literary magazine which publishes once a term.
Groton also has a long tradition of pranks, most notably the unveiling of the world's largest tiled poster on the Chapel and some culture of "roofing". The Schoolhouse building has two secret rooms. One is called the Shoe Room, where it is rumored a young Franklin D. Roosevelt, among others, left a shoe. The other is the Junior Mint Room where empty boxes have been left by generations of students. Both are accessed by roofing the Schoolhouse.
Groton has long upheld a very intense, often bitter rivalry with St. Mark's School, a competitor in its sports league.
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- Boys: Soccer, Football, and Cross Country
- Girls: Soccer, Cross Country, and Field Hockey
- Boys: Squash, basketball, swimming, and ice hockey
- Girls: Squash, basketball, swimming, and ice hockey
- Boys: Crew, track, tennis, lacrosse, and baseball
- Girls: Crew, track, tennis, and lacrosse
All seasons there is also a dance team. Furthermore, students can create FSA's (Faculty Sponsored Activities) that take the place of their afternoon activity requirement. FSA topics range from musical training to Archery.
Groton School is a member of the Independent School League,which has sixteen member schools, but it also competes with schools outside the league. Groton's traditional athletic rival is St. Mark's School. At Groton, the day the two schools meet in athletic competition each term is called St. Mark's Day.
Notable alumni of Groton School include:
- Dean Acheson, Secretary of State under President Truman, presidential advisor to Johnson
- Joseph Alsop, important and famous political journalist after World War II
- Ayi Kwei Armah, Ghanaian novelist, short-story writer, essayist, considered one of Africa's most important writers
- Hugh D. Auchincloss, stockbroker and lawyer
- James C. Auchincloss, United States Representative from New Jersey
- Louis Auchincloss, author, winner of the National Medal of Arts
- Tracy Barnes, CIA officer, one of the planners of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba.
- Donald Beer, 1956 Olympic gold medallist in men's eights, rowing
- Francis Biddle, Attorney General under Franklin D. Roosevelt (1941–1945), Chief American Justice of the Nuremberg Trials
- George Biddle, artist
- Hiram Bingham IV, American Vice Consul in Marseilles, France during World War II
- Jonathan Brewster Bingham, United States Representative from New York
- Richard M. Bissell, Jr., CIA Deputy Director for Plans, Bay of Pigs Invasion planner, father of U-2; formed the basis for Matt Damon's character in the The Good Shepherd
- McGeorge Bundy, National Security Advisor under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson
- William Bundy, McGeorge Bundy's brother, foreign affairs advisor to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson
- Sam Chauncey, Yale University administrator
- Hamilton Coolidge, World War I Flying Ace
- Jim Cooper, United States Representative from Tennessee
- Erastus Corning II, mayor of Albany, New York
- Laurence Curtis, United States Representative from Massachusetts
- Bronson M. Cutting, United States Senator from New Mexico
- F. Trubee Davison, Director of Personnel for the Central Intelligence Agency
- Charlie Devens, Baseball Player, New York Yankees 1932-1934
- C. Douglas Dillon, Secretary of the Treasury, Under Secretary of State, Ambassador to France
- RP Eddy, Director at the White House National Security Council, United Nations Diplomat, CEO of Ergo
- Adrian S. Fisher, Deputy Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
- Ned Freed, co-author of the MIME email standard (RFCs 2045-2049)
- Peter Gammons, Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, baseball writer and commentator
- Alex Gansa, Producer for the TV show 'Homeland', Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series Winner
- Ward Goodenough, Anthropologist known for his studies in the southern Pacific islands.
- John B. Goodenough, Scientist, awarded the National Medal of Science for his work developing the Lithium battery.
- Gerrit Graham, actor
- Joseph Grew, Ambassador to Japan before WWII, Under Secretary of State
- Ashbel Green Gulliver, former dean of Yale Law School
- Marshall Green, Ambassador to Indonesia and Australia and Assistant Secretray of State under President Richard Nixon
- Gordon Gund, formerly the principal owner of the NBA franchise, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the co-owner of the NHL franchise, San Jose Sharks
- Fred Gwynne, actor
- Pierpont M. Hamilton, United States Army Air Forces Major General, recipient of the Medal of Honor
- E. Roland Harriman, financier and philanthropist
- W. Averell Harriman, Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, U.S. Ambassador to Britain, Governor of New York
- C. Ezekiel "Zeke" Hawkins, Student Academy Awards nominee Brought abuse charges against the school.
- Stuart Heintzelman, United States Army Major General
- Richard Hely-Hutchinson, 8th Earl of Donoughmore, Irish peer
- Christopher Isham, Washington D.C. Bureau Chief, ABC News
- Francis Keppel, Commissioner of Education under President Kennedy
- Howard Kingsbury, 1924 Olympic gold medallist in men's eights, rowing
- James Lawrence, 1928 Olympic gold medallist in men's coxed fours, rowing
- Hunter Lewis, author
- Peter Magowan, managing general partner, San Francisco Giants
- Harry Mathews, poet
- Walter Russell Mead, Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Council on Foreign Relations
- Joseph Medill McCormick, United States Senator from Illinois
- Robert R. McCormick, publisher, Chicago Tribune
- Henry Sturgis Morgan, Grandson of JP Morgan
- J. P. Morgan, Jr., Banker, Son of JP Morgan
- Newbold Morris, President of the New York City Council under Mayor Fiorello La Guardia
- Daniyal Mueenuddin, Pakistani author
- Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes.
- James Graham Parsons, Ambassador to Laos and Sweden, Deputy U.S. Representative to SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks), 1970–1972
- Alexandra Paul, actress, star of Baywatch
- Endicott Peabody, former Governor of Massachusetts
- Fuller Potter, abstract-expressionist artist
- Stanley Rogers Resor, Secretary of the Army, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
- Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt, Jr., career CIA officer, soldier, scholar, linguist, and grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States of America
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr., Son of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Congressman, Naval Officer
- James Roosevelt, United States Representative from California, Brigadier General in the United States Marine Corps
- Kermit Roosevelt, successful businessman, service in both World Wars, son of Theodore Roosevelt,
- Kermit Roosevelt, Jr, career CIA organized Operation Ajax
- Quentin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt Jr.'s brother and son of President T. Roosevelt, fought and died in World War I
- Quentin Roosevelt II, Theodore Roosevelt's grandson and nephew of Q. Roosevelt, above, killed in a plane crash under mysterious circumstances in China in 1948
- Tadd Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt's nephew, who was slightly older than his uncle, and attended Groton at the same time.
- Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., son of President Teddy Roosevelt, Led the D-day assault on Utah Beach, recipient of the Medal of Honor
- Eugene Rostow, Under-Secretary of State under President Johnson, head of Arms Control Agency
- Tom Rush, singer/songwriter
- Robert C. Scott, United States Representative from Virginia
- Sarah Sewall, Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
- Ellery Sedgwick, editor
- Frederick Sheffield, 1924 Olympic gold medallist in men's eights, rowing
- Curtis Sittenfeld, author
- Ambassador David Thorne, founder of "Body And Soul" magazine, current US Ambassador to Italy (appointed by President Barack Obama)
- John Train, investment adviser and author
- Cyrus Vance, Jr., Manhattan District Attorney
- Andrés Velasco, Finance Minister of Chile
- George Herbert Walker III, former ambassador to Hungary and board member of the New York Stock Exchange
- Bradford Washburn, photographer, director of the Boston Museum of Science from 1939–1980 and Honorary Director (a lifetime appointment) 1985–2007
- Sherwood Washburn, physical anthropologist
- James Waterston, actor, Dead Poets Society
- Sam Waterston, actor, notably Law & Order's Jack McCoy
- J. Watson Webb, Jr., film editor
- Sumner Welles, Under Secretary of State under FDR
- Harry Payne Whitney, businessman and thoroughbred horsebreeder
- John Hay Whitney, Ambassador to Britain, newspaper publisher
- Richard Whitney, President of the New York Stock Exchange
- William Payne Whitney, philanthropist and businessman
- Staff writer (2007-12-28). "How the Schools Stack Up". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- Jet: 16. June 19, 1952 http://books.google.com/books?id=RUMDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA1&dq=jet+magazine+June+19,+1952&hl=en&ei=bfAqTpCyHMzogQfU_cz_Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
|url=missing title (help).
- "Academy Announces Finalists for 2010 Student Academy Awards®" May 6, 2010, The Academy web site
- "Accusations of Sex Abuse at Boarding School" August 31, 2010, ABC News
- Ashburn, Frank D., Peabody of Groton, Coward McCann, Inc., New York, 1944.
- Hoyt, Edwin P., The Peabody Influence, Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1968.
- Fenton, John H., "Groton Headmaster Ends 25-Year Tenure," New York Times, June 13, 1965, p. 80.
- School official website
- Groton School Admissions Video on SchoolFair.tv
- Groton School statistics provided by boardingschoolreview.com