Battle Ground Academy

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Battle Ground Academy
Glen Echo Mansion became the central building of the new school campus, built around it in 1996
Franklin, Tennessee
United States
Type Independent coeducational school
Motto "Character, Scholarship, Excellence."
Established 1889
Head of School Will Kesler
Faculty 80
Enrollment 800
Average class size 15
Student to teacher ratio 10 to 1
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Blue and Gold
Athletics conference TSSAA Division Ill
Mascot Wildcat
Average SAT scores 1890
Average ACT scores 29

Battle Ground Academy (BGA) is an independent college-preparatory school for grades K-12. BGA is located in Franklin, Tennessee, US. Founded in 1889, the school was originally located in part on the site of the Battle of Franklin in the U.S. Civil War. BGA has two campuses. The Harpeth Campus is located on Franklin Road in the historic Cox House and is home to Grades K-4. The Glen Echo campus is located off Mack Hatcher Parkway and is home to Grades 5-12.


The Cox House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, currently serves as the Battle Ground Academy Lower School.

Battle Ground Academy was established in 1889, and it was named for its original location during the Civil War Battle of Franklin.[1]

The first campus was erected at the corner of Columbia Avenue and Cleburne Street. S.V. Wall and W.D. Mooney were chosen as the first to lead the new academy. In 1902, the original school building burned at which time the school was relocated to Columbia Avenue in Franklin.

BGA was established to educate boys originally and girls began to attend some time later. The school operated as a day school though students came from outside the local area to attend. They boarded in private homes until the first dormitory was built in 1922. At this time, BGA evolved to become a boarding and day school.

After the construction of the first dormitory, the decision was made to change to an all-male student body. The departure of the last girl students in 1929 ushered in a half-century when BGA was a boys' school.

In the early 1970s, the boarding program was phased out. BGA once again welcomed girls to its student body. At present, the female enrollment accounts for approximately 50 percent of the student body.

In 1996, the location of the Battle Ground Academy Upper School changed to the current site on Ernest Rice Lane (off of Mack Hatcher Parkway). In 2003, the Middle School joined the Upper School on the Glen Echo campus and began to enjoy the benefits of the brand new state-of-the-art facilities. Additionally, in 1998, Battle Ground Academy acquired the former Harpeth Academy. This became the BGA Lower School on Franklin Road. Currently, the school operates with two physical campuses and has three divisions: Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School.


BGA has long-standing traditions including the Honor Code, the Greer and Plato societies, and the "Tug".

George I. Briggs, Headmaster from 1925 through 1944, formed two literary societies at BGA in 1925. One of the aforementioned societies was the Greers (in honor of Greer "Daddy" Peoples). The other society was the called the Platos in honor of the Greek philosopher. After many years of competition in sports and debates, the Greers and Platos societies engaged in their first tug-of-war in 1935.

In the high school "Tug", a rope is stretched across the Harpeth River with the Greers on one side and the Platos on the other. The senior representative from the team who wins the most points in year-long competition -including daily assembly trivia question, faculty and student quiz bowl, debate, community service drives, arm wrestling, and others- chooses which side of the river will be their tug-of-war position. This longstanding tradition still generates much enthusiasm to this day.

Student Honors[edit]

The BGA Artist Guild was established in 1987 after two senior art students approached the drama and art teachers to request that a group be formed to recognize student achievement in arts. The organization started small and met a couple of times each quarter for fun. As the Guild grew in size and prestige, the group began to have public performances. Guild Night has become a tradition for parents and students each year. The Artist Guild allows BGA to encourage, recognize and nurture excellence in arts.[2]

Board of Trust Merit Scholarships are provided to some of BGA's most promising incoming freshmen. This scholarship program was established in 2005 to recognize outstanding academic performance. [3]

Digamma is an in-school honor society. Members are BGA students who are sophomores, juniors or seniors having a cumulative academic GPA of 3.1. These students have no grade below 87 for the previous semester in any academic subject, have been enrolled in BGA for two full semesters, and have had no honor offenses. Digamma members are not required to attend study hall. [4]

Notable Alumni[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Boyd, Lucas G. "Battle Ground Academy." Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, retrieved 2015/03/06.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  4. ^