Hotchkiss School

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The Hotchkiss School
Hotchkiss School Seal.png
Moniti Meliora Sequamur
After instruction, let us move on to pursue higher things.
Lakeville, Connecticut, United States
Type Independent, Boarding
Established 1891
Head of school Dr. Kevin Hicks
Faculty 151,[1] 113.8 (on FTE basis)[2]
Enrollment 599 (as of 2011–12).[1]
Average class size 12 students
Student to teacher ratio 4:1[1]
Campus Rural, 810 acres (3 km2)
Color(s) Yale Blue and White
Athletics 19 interscholastic sports
Mascot Bearcats
Average SAT scores 2013 (2005)
Endowment $430 million[3]

The Hotchkiss School is a selective independent, coeducational college preparatory boarding school located in Lakeville, Connecticut, USA. Founded in 1891, the school enrolls students in grades 9 through 12 and a small number of postgraduates. Students at Hotchkiss come from across the United States and 37 foreign countries.[1]

Hotchkiss is a member of the Eight Schools Association, the Ten Schools Admissions Organization, and a member of the G20 Schools group. In 2010 Hotchkiss joined in a partnership with The Affiliated High School of Peking University to form the basis of the International Division of Peking University High School.[4]

As of the 2005–06 school year, the school had an enrollment of 595 students and 151 classroom teachers, for a student–teacher ratio of 4:1.[1] Hotchkiss has one of the largest secondary school financial endowments in the country, and competitive admissions, with a 17% acceptance rate in the fall of 2013.[5]


Postcard from about 1905

Maria H. (Bissell) Hotchkiss founded the school in 1891 to prepare young men for Yale University.[6] The first day of instruction was October 18, 1892.[7] Maria originally had aspirations for the school to serve underprivileged students, and the original charter provided some scholarships. The charter also reserved space for academically gifted Lakeville boys regardless of family income. Maria Hotchkiss was the widow of Benjamin B. Hotchkiss, who founded the French arms company Hotchkiss et Cie, made famous by the use of its machine guns in World War I [5]. This led to a nickname for the school, "son of a gun".[8]

The current Head of School is Dr. Kevin Hicks.

Campus and facilities[edit]

Arts facilities[edit]

2005 saw the completion of Hotchkiss' Esther Eastman Music Center. Elfers Hall seats 715 people. The school has equipped the hall with a handmade Fazioli F308 piano, 12 Steinway pianos, 12 practice rooms, 39 guitars, 3 ensemble practice rooms, the WKIS radio station, and a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) lab.[9]

Athletic facilities[edit]

Indoor facilities
  • Field House – multi-purpose playing surfaces with an elevated indoor exercise track
  • Ice Hockey Rinks (two) – Dwyer Rink (Olympic), Schmidt Rink (NHL)
  • Natatorium – 10-lane pool with a separate diving well
  • Fowle Gymnasium (hardwood basketball court)
  • Wrestling/Multi-Purpose Room
  • Squash Courts (eight)
  • Ford Indoor Tennis Courts (three)
  • Chandler Fitness Center
  • Boat House (sailing)
  • Training Rooms
  • Locker Rooms and Shower Facilities
Outdoor facilities
  • Nine-hole golf course (designed by Seth Raynor)
  • All-weather track
  • Outdoor tennis courts (twenty)
  • Paddle tennis courts (two)
  • Field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, and softball fields
  • Climbing walls
  • Football stadium
  • Baseball stadium
  • Lake Wononscopomuc (sailing)
  • Three ponds and extensive hiking trails on a 810-acre (3.3 km2) wooded campus

The athletic complex contains a 35-meter ten-lane pool, indoor jogging track, eight squash courts, two ice hockey rinks, a fitness center/weight room, two basketball courts, a wrestling room, three indoor tennis courts, and two paddle tennis courts.[10]

Boarding and general facilities[edit]

Main building

Hotchkiss has twelve dormitories on campus, six for boys (Tinker, Edelman, Coy, Dana, Watson, and Wieler) and six for girls (Bissell, Buehler, Flinn, Memorial, Garland, and Van Santvoord). Rooms vary in size, from singles to the occasional triple.[11]


Hotchkiss currently fields 17 interscholastic sports teams. The school is a member of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council and the Interscholastic Sailing Association.[12] The athletic directors of Hotchkiss and the other members of the Eight Schools Association compose the Eight Schools Athletic Council, which organizes sports events and tournaments among ESA schools.[13] Historically strong athletic programs include the girls' field hockey team, the girls' volleyball team, the girls' tennis team, the boys' ice hockey team, the boys' lacrosse team, the boys' track and field team, and the co-ed sailing team.[citation needed] Hotchkiss's field hockey team has won thirteen New England championships, including ten consecutively from 2002–2011. In 2010, the team defeated Phillips Academy Andover 1–0 in overtime in the semifinals, and defeated Greenwich Academy in strokes in the finals.[14] Hotchkiss's volleyball has won seven New England Championships including the 2007 New England Volleyball Championships.[15] The boys' track and field team was undefeated in regular season meets from 2005 to 2009. During this five year span, they placed in the top three at Founder's and NEPSTA Championships each year and won both titles in 2007[16] and in 2009.[17] In the 2008 fall athletic season, Hotchkiss became the first school to win four New England Championships in one fall season. The four championships were a seventh straight in field hockey, a second straight in volleyball, a first in soccer, and a second in football.[citation needed]


Hotchkiss students run a number of clubs,[18] including The Record, a biweekly, student-run newspaper that delivers to the school as well as alumni through print copy and an iOS app; the Human Rights Initiative; the Hotchkiss Apiary Society (a beekeeping club, which operates beehives at the school-owned farm); WKIS Radio Station; BaHSA, the Black and Hispanic Student Alliance; the Gay/Straight Alliance; HotchkissTV; Hotchkiss Dramatic Association; Junior Bearcats; Asian Society; The Whipping Post (Hotchkiss's satire publication); the Writing Block (a creative writing publication); the Chinese Club; Hotchkiss Democrats; Hotchkiss Republicans; Investment Club; WAHED (Hotchkiss–Afghanistan Initiative); Economics Club; Hotchkiss Libertarians; the Hotchkiss Political Union; Club Backgammon; Blue Notes (male a cappella); Chess Club; Science Olympiad; Hotchkiss Lookbook (Student-run Fashion and Arts blog/publication); Songs For Smiles; SEA (Students for Environment Awareness); the yearbook (called the Mischianza); Read to Grow; App Club (for students interested in learning to make iPhone apps); and INKredible (Hotchkiss Arts/Literary Magazine). Clubs are student-run, though most have faculty advisors, and many of them receive a budget from the school to provide for their various needs. There is also a Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter at Hotchkiss, one of the few amongst high schools.[citation needed]

Round Square[edit]

Hotchkiss is one of four U.S. schools in Round Square, a global conference of more than 50 secondary schools. Students have the option to go on an exchange for a semester to another participating school, or they may meet other Round Square students while working together on a project in an area of need. Hotchkiss has recently hosted students from Australia, Germany, France, Peru, South Africa, and India.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]

Potter Stewart, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Hotchkiss alumni have achieved prominence in a number of fields, and the school has produced many captains of industry. Distinguished alumni include:[19]

Professional athlete alumni include National Hockey League players Matt Herr, now retired, Luke Glendenning, currently playing for the Detroit Red Wings, and Torrey Mitchell, currently playing for the Buffalo Sabres. Ducky Pond, the last Yale alumnus to be head football coach at Yale University, was a Hotchkiss alumnus. Hotchkiss also has a strong literary tradition; alumni authors include Pulitzer Prize winner and Poet Laureate Archibald MacLeish and Pulitzer Prize Winner John Hersey.

Hotchkiss in popular culture[edit]

F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise


  1. ^ a b c d e [1], The Hotchkiss School. Accessed June 8, 2010.
  2. ^ The Hotchkiss School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed June 24, 2008.
  3. ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (2008-01-26). "At Elite Prep Schools, College Sized Endowments". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ 2011 Admitted Class Profile Accessed 14 March 2011.
  6. ^ The Hotchkiss School History and Traditions, The Hotchkiss School. Accessed July 21, 2008.
  7. ^ Thomas, Grace Powers (1898). Where to educate, 1898–1899. A guide to the best private schools, higher institutions of learning, etc., in the United States. Boston: Brown and Company. p. 37. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ See Wertenbaker and Basserman, The Hotchkiss School, 1966, p. 68.
  9. ^ [2] The Hotchkiss School Academic Resources. Accessed March 12, 2009.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Dorms, The Hotchkiss School. Accessed July 22, 2008.
  12. ^ Sports, Hotchkiss School. Accessed July 22, 2008.
  13. ^, dated May 2, 2010;, dated May 3, 2009;, dated April 11, 2007
  14. ^ [3], Hotchkiss School. Accessed February 10, 2009
  15. ^ Sports Records, Hotchkiss School. Accessed July 22, 2008.
  16. ^ Varsity Track and Field, Hotchkiss School. Accessed 19 May 2009.
  17. ^ ", Hotchkiss School. Accessed August 25, 2008.
  18. ^ Student Life, Hotchkiss School. Accessed July 22, 2008.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ History Unfolding retrieved 1-19-08
  22. ^ Archer, Jeffrey (2003-12-07). "Sons of Fortune". ISBN 978-0-312-99353-5. 
  23. ^ retrieved on 1-19-08
  24. ^ Amazon Hotchkiss Portrait retrieved 1-19-08.
  25. ^ Robert Cownley (interviewing Archibald MacLeish), "America Was Promises" (August/September 1982), American Heritage Magazine, vol. 33, issue 5.
  26. ^, "[4]", Preview of Through the Hidden Door, retrieved on 4-25-10.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°56′32″N 73°26′25″W / 41.9422°N 73.4402°W / 41.9422; -73.4402