St. George's School, Newport
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|St. George's School|
|Motto||Sapientia Utriusque Vitae Lumen|
|Type||Private coeducational secondary, boarding|
|Headmaster||Eric Peterson, Chose to be the Headmaster so he could have some type of power in his life.|
|Location||Middletown, Rhode Island, USA|
St. George's School--Church of St. George, Little Chapel, and Memorial Schoolhouse
|Location||372 Purgatory Rd., Middletown, Rhode Island|
|Area||less than one acre|
|Architectural style||Tudor Revival, Late Gothic Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||04001235|
|Added to NRHP||November 12, 2004|
St. George's shield
St. George's School is a private, Episcopal, coeducational boarding school in Middletown, Rhode Island, USA, just east of the city of Newport. The school was founded in 1896 by the Rev. John Byron Diman, a member of a prominent Rhode Island family. It sits on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is a member of the Independent School League and one of five schools collectively termed St. Grottlesex.
The school's suburban campus is familiarly known as "The Hilltop", as it is located on a prominent hill just east of Newport.
- Memorial Schoolhouse - The main academic building in which most classes are held in subjects other than art, music and science.
- Old School - The oldest building on campus, Old School serves a variety of purposes. The first floor serves as the office of the Head of School, Eric Peterson, as well as many administrators and admissions counselors. To the East, the Main Common Room serves as a meeting space for any purpose. The Faculty Lounge and kitchen are attached to the Main Common Room. On the second and third floors are Old School (girls) and Red (boys) dorms.
- DuPont Science Building - Hosting all science classes, it houses laboratories for all physical sciences, and is close by to the observatory. It also has a larger hall used for presentations or examinations.
- King Hall - The School’s dining hall, it serves three meals daily.
- Chapel - A classic Gothic chapel built in 1928 with John Nicholas Brown's donation and designed by Ralph Adams Cram, the whole school congregates in the Chapel for two services weekly, one of which is an Episcopal Church service. There are two additional optional services; a Friday night Compline service, and a Sunday Evening Prayer. In 2005, the Chapel organ was completely renovated, and the Chapel now also features a choral practice space and a new pipe organ. Once a week the chapel choir, consisting of nearly 80 students, sings.
- Hill Library - Contains more than 40,000 volumes and 75 periodicals.
- John Nicholas Brown ’18 Center - Named in honor of the school's alumnus John Nicholas Brown ’18, the Brown Center was dedicated in the spring of 2005. It houses the College Counseling Offices on the main level, deans’ offices on the second floor (director of studies, dean of students, dean of faculty), and the bookstore, Geronimo office, mail room and summer school office on the lower level.
- Sixth Form House - Originally used as the school gymnasium in 1903, it became a Schoolhouse in 1911. Dormitory rooms for school prefects were also once located in the building. Currently the business office, alumni/ae development office, and publication office are housed in Sixth Form House.
- William H. Drury and Richard Grosvenor Center for the Arts - home to St. George’s 450-seat theatre, where drama productions, musical performances, and lectures are held. The building also features two drawing studios, painting studio, scenery shop (used by Stage Crew for the drama productions), ceramics and photography studios, two computer labs, black box theatre, exhibition gallery, and many soundproof practice rooms.
- Charles A. and Carol J. Hamblet Campus Center - Named in honor of the 10th headmaster and his wife, the Campus Center was dedicated in the fall of 2004. It includes a grille restaurant open during the off-hours of King Hall, a great room, a game room, and a meeting room.
- Dorrance Field House - Built in 1987, the Field House includes four indoor tennis courts, three basketball courts and a ninth of a mile indoor track.
- Hoopes Squash Center - The Joseph C. Hoopes Sr. Squash Center, housing eight international glass-backed courts, was completed in 1996. Using the German made ASB court system, it serves during the summer months as the home for Mark Talbott’s Squash Academy, the official training center of the U.S. Squash Racquets Association, and served as the site for both the National Junior Squash Championships in 1996 and 1998 and the Men’s Squash Softball Championships in February 1997.
- Stephen P. Cabot and Archer Harman Ice Center - The $4.5 million Stephen P. Cabot and Archer Harman Jr. Ice Center, completed in November 2000, features two ice hockey facilities. Originally built in 1954 as an outdoor rink and enclosed in 1968, the Cabot Memorial rink has new boards, a completely new surface (200’ X 85’) and a new roof.
- Norris D. Hoyt Pool - The Norris D. Hoyt Swimming Pool is an eight-lane pool with overflow gutters and a Colorado Timing System. Completed in the fall of 2004, the pool holds a large balcony seating area as well as many deck level glass viewing windows.
- Ted Hersey Track - The track is all-weather, completed in the fall of 1996. It is a six-lane, 400 meter oval, with an eight lane sprint chute along the east side. All St. George’s field events are held on the inside, with the exception of the javelin throw. It includes the high jump area at the northern end of the oval, the discus throw area at the northwestern corner, the shotput throw area at the northeastern corner, the long and triple jump parallel along the western straight-away and the pole vault way parallel to the eastern straightaway. The area inside the oval is the Redway Field and is large enough for a full, international-sized soccer field (360 feet by 225 feet). The track is named for the longest-serving (1952–2004) faculty member in school history, who founded the programs in cross-country and track and field.
- Blazer and Wood Tennis courts - Blazer Tennis Courts are hardcourt-surfaced courts located at the main entrance of the school. Both junior varsity teams host their games on these courts. The Wood Tennis Courts are six hardcourt-surfaced courts located across the street from the main entrance of the school.
- Playing Fields - The 10 athletic fields include Crocker Field (used for Varsity Football and Girls' Varsity Lacrosse), Elliott Field (used for Varsity Baseball), a JV baseball field, two field hockey fields, four lacrosse/soccer fields, and a softball field.
There are five boys’ dorms and six girls’ dorms. Two or three faculty members live with their families in apartments within each of the buildings.
St. George's operates on a six-day school week, meaning that classes meet Monday through Saturday. Wednesdays and Saturdays, however, are half-days, with athletic games in the afternoons. Except for science and math classes, St. George's conducts most classes with the Harkness method, which encourages discussion among students and the teacher. The average class size according to the School's website is 10-12 students.
Rather than offering a Physical Education class, St. George's requires all its students to play sports for at least four terms of their Third and Fourth Form years, and for any three terms during their Fifth and Sixth Form years. These sports range from a New England-champion hockey team to a thirds lacrosse team.
Students attend Chapel twice per week. Once a week, Chapel requires formal attire, and there is either a communion or evening prayer service in accordance with the school's Episcopalian tradition. During the second service, a senior or faculty member speaks to the school community, giving a Chapel Talk.
In the evenings, meetings are held for clubs and activities including music ensembles like the Brass Ensemble and Choir, a cappella groups (the all-female Snapdragons, and the all-male Hilltoppers), the Debate Team, and other extracurricular organizations.
- Middlesex Weekend: Middlesex School (the Zebras) is St. George's athletic rival in the ISL. Each fall, on the final weekend of the season, every team plays against them. Banners are made, t-shirts are sold, and on Friday night a wooden zebra is burned in a bonfire while teams cheer it on.
- Diman Cup: John Diman, the founder of St. George's, also founded the Portsmouth Abbey, just a few miles up Aquidneck Island. Since the Abbey is not a part of the ISL, the two schools have created their own competition. Wins and losses are tallied over the course of all three seasons.
- Winter Formal: An alternative version of prom, the Winter Formal sees the whole school, students and faculty, in tuxedos and formal dresses. For years, the dance was held in the Senior Common Room, then moved to King Hall, then moved to a Newport mansion, before settling at the Hyatt on Goat Island for dinner and dancing.
- Christmas Festival: A tradition that has existed almost since the inception of the school, it occurs on the last day before Christmas vacation. After a candlelit Chapel service where the story of Christmas is told in song and acted out by students, the entire school is ushered into King Hall to sing carols and eat dinner.
- V Form Ski Weekend: The only official class trip at St. George's School, every January, for a long 3-day weekend, the juniors travel to a selected ski resort and spend the weekend in hotel rooms and skiing/snowboarding.
- Casino Night: Once a year, on a Saturday night, the Campus Center Great Room is transformed into a casino
- Prize Day: The final day for the seniors as they graduate from St. George's School. Sixth formers have a chapel service with family members to begin the day and are accompanied by bagpipers as they process from the chapel out to the front lawn to join the rest of the school. Sixth formers are given their diplomas after the headmaster and the Prize Day speaker speak, and the other prizes are handed out.
- Club System: Recently started in 2009. Everyone is divided into two clubs within the school and they compete in a variety of events throughout the year, most specifically during assemblies.
- Boys' Swimming ISL Invitational Champions 2013
- Boys' Swimming ISL Invitational Runner-up 2012
- Girls' Swimming ISL Invitational Champions 2013
- Girls' Swimming ISL Invitational Champions 2012
- Girls' Swimming NE Division II Champions 2012
- Co-Ed Swimming Undefeated Season 2011
- Co-Ed Swimming Undefeated Season 2010
- Co-Ed Swimming Undefeated Season 2009
- Co-Ed Swimming Undefeated Season 2008
- Co-ed Sailing NESSA Team Racing Champions 2006
- Co-ed Sailing NESSA Team Racing Champions 2008
- Co-ed Sailing NESSA Fleet Racing Champions 2008
- Co-ed Sailing ISSA National Team Racing "Baker Trophy" Champions 2008
- Girls' Cross-Country, 2005 NEPSTA Div. III Champions
- Girls' Softball 2007 ISL Champions
- Girls' Squash 2007 ISL Champions, Undefeated Season
- Girls' Squash 2008 ISL Champions, Undefeated Season
- Girls' Squash 2009 ISL Champions, Undefeated Season
- Girls' Squash 2010 ISL Champions, Undefeated Season
- Girls' Squash 2010 Third in New England, 4th in the nation
- Girls' Squash 2011 ISL Champions, Undefeated Season
- Boys' Squash 2005 Team Sportsmanship Award
- Boys' Squash 2006 Team Sportsmanship Award
- Boys' Squash 2007 Team Sportsmanship Award
- Boys' Squash 2008 Team Sportsmanship Award
- Boys' Squash 2007 Individual New England Champion (Antionio Diaz Gonzalas Salas)
- Boys' Squash 2008 Individual New England Champion (Antonio Diaz Gonzalas Salas)
- Boys' Hockey 2007-2008 ISL Champions
- Boys' Hockey 2009-2010 ISL Eberhart Division Champions
- Boys' Hockey, 2005 NEPSAC Div. II Champions
In recent years, St. George's swimming, squash and sailing programs have been especially successful with the sailing team placing third in the country at Nationals multiple times.
Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts is St. George's traditional rival. Three times a year athletes from the visiting school travel two hours by bus to compete against rival teams. The schools alternate each year to host the games, which conclude each regular, athletic season.
St. George's also shares a rivalry with Portsmouth Abbey School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, as both schools were founded by John Diman. Once every season, the schools' athletic teams play each other on "Abbey Monday" (The Portsmouth Abbeyians call the event, "St. George's Monday.")
(*) -- Denotes Co-ed teams (|) -- Denotes separate, m. or f. teams
Geronimo is a Ted Hood designed 70 foot fiberglass sloop. During the academic year, Geronimo carries students from St. George's School on six-week long voyages. She sails year round between Canadian waters and the Caribbean. Students are taught Nautical Science and Oceanography/Marine Biology while on board. During these trips, the students stand watch, learn the intricacies of handling a modern sailing vessel and conduct research on sea turtles working in conjunction with the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research University of Florida, Gainesville. In the summer months, the vessel makes four shorter trips: one for returning students to sail to Bermuda and three "Sea Legs" orientation trips for new students. Summer trainees range in age from high school to adult.
Music and drama
Currently, the school performs at least one major drama and one musical each year. Between major productions, students direct and perform one-act plays. In addition, students are able to take three different semester-long theatre courses, including two in acting and one in stagecraft.
Approximately half of the student body sings in one of the choruses. Chapel Choir, which requires its members to audition, is the school's largest musical group. The smaller male group, The Hilltoppers, and female group, The Snapdragons, audition members from the school community. St. George's a cappella groups typically participate in Parents' Weekend and other school events.
The Schools maintains two ensembles and an orchestra. Playing for Chapel services and the New York Yacht Club's christening ceremonies, the Brass Ensemble plays mainly hymns and is led by conductor Tony du Bourg. The Orchestra plays classical music and is led by Jinny Chang, who also leads the Jazz Ensemble. The St. George's Jazz Ensemble plays jazz of various eras and composes its own pieces, which are then played at school functions.
"Jerusalem" (Hymn 110) is the school's preferred hymn. It is sung frequently in Chapel along with the School Hymn, set to Duke Street, and the St. George's Day Hymn (Melita).
Extracurricular Activities & Clubs
The Theater Department has a production every season of the year: in the Fall, there is a dance troupe that puts on several shows, including one on Parents' Weekend. In the Winter, the School Musical occurs, and at the end, hosts the school community, parents, and the local community for a 3-show weekend in March. In the Spring, the School Play is held in May.
For any of the seasons, students can be a student trainer, assisting the Sports Trainer in the Training Room. Students can also perform community service, or a special project.
The School has over 50 clubs.
The Red & White
The Red & White is the newspaper of the St. George's School community. A student run institution, it prints approximately nine times a year on a monthly basis. The paper is a half tabloid, and usually prints in black and white. The paper is available for free to students and faculty, and, at a nominal fee, any member of the school's extended community can subscribe.
Founded in 1906, it is the second longest existing publication in the school (The Dragon, the school's literary magazine, is older), and has printed since its inception, with the exception of a ten-year period between World War I and World War II.
In popular culture
- St. George's is mentioned in F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic first novel, This Side of Paradise, where the school is described as "prosperous and well-dressed"
- Featured in The Official Preppy Handbook by Lisa Birnbach
- The Education of Charlie Banks (2007), co-starring Jesse Eisenberg and Eva Amurri, and directed by Fred Durst, was filmed on the campus of St. George's. The establishing shots of the Old School building, King Hall, and the Chapel were used to represent Vassar College, and the motion picture also filmed at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island
Notable St. Georgians (Old Boys)
- Vincent Astor, Philanthropist, major holder in Newsweek Magazine, Member of the prominent Astor family
- John Jacob Astor VI, Major Investor, Member of the prominent Astor family
- John Jacob Astor V, Philanthropist, Owner of The Times Newspaper
- Leonard Bacon 1905, Well recognized Poet, Writer and Book Critic. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1940
- Livingston L. Biddle, Jr. 1936, a descendant of the storied Philadelphia family who wrote the legislation that led to the creation of the National Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and was chairman of the endowment from 1977 to 1981. From 1968 to 1970, he was a professor and the chairman of the arts division at Fordham University in New York City and in 1971 and 1972 he was chairman of the Pennsylvania Ballet Company
- Julie Bowen 1987, Actress best known for playing Claire Dunphy on Modern Family
- John Nicholas Brown 1918, Philanthropist, Donor of the School's Chapel, member of the prestigious Brown Family of Rhode Island, former Assistant Secretary of the Navy
- Billy Bush 1990, Access Hollywood Anchor, host of an NBC prime-time show of Let's Make A Deal
- Prescott Bush 1913, WWI artillery Captain, U.S. Senator from Connecticut 1953-1963, father of President George H.W. Bush and grandfather of President George W. Bush
- Tucker Carlson 1987, writer and former host of Crossfire on CNN followed by Tucker on MSNBC. Now pan-NBC political commentator
- Philippe Cousteau Jr. 1998, founder of EarthEcho International, grandson of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau
- Charles Dean 1968, brother of Howard Dean, captured and executed in Laos
- Howard Brush Dean III 1966, MD, longest-serving Vermont Governor 1991-2003, Presidential Candidate 2004 and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee 2005-2009
- Robert E. Gross 1915, famous American businessman in Aviation, Founder and President of the Lockheed Corporation from 1934 to 1956. Featured in the 2004 blockbuster hit The Aviator
- William C. Hayes 1961, leading authority on Egyptian history, and former curator of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Laurence G. Leavitt, headmaster of Vermont Academy, Saxtons River, Vermont, for 25 years
- Ogden Nash 1920, famous American Poet and Writer
- Morgan Parker, inventor of the disposable scalpel
- Claiborne Pell 1936, longest-serving Rhode Island Senator (in office 1961-1997), famous for creating the Pell Grant
- Roger W. Straus, Jr., was co-founder of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, a New York book publishing company
- Whitney Tower, longtime horse racing journalist and former chairman of the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame
- Russell E. Train 1937, founder and past-president of the World Wildlife Fund
- William Henry Vanderbilt III, Governor of Rhode Island, philanthropist
- Harry Werksman, Writer-producer for the third season of Grey's Anatomy
- Wilfrid Zogbaum, widely-respected US avant-garde sculptor
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
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