Baylor School

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Baylor School
Baylor Logo.jpg
Amat Victoria Curam (Victory Loves Care)
171 Baylor School Road[1]
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37405
United States
School type Private, Boarding, Day
Religious affiliation(s) Nonsectarian
Established 1893
CEEB code 430275
Headmaster Scott Wilson
Faculty 148 teachers
Grades 6 to 12
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 209 Boarding (9-12)
314 Day (6-8)
547 Day (9-12)
1070 Total
Average class size 13 students
Student to teacher ratio 7:1[2]
Campus size 670 acres (2.7 km2)
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Red and Grey          
Athletics 18 varsity sports
Athletics conference TSSAA
Mascot Tiger[3]
Average SAT scores 500 - 640 reading
520 - 660 math
510 - 640 writing
Average ACT scores 23-28[4]
Newspaper The Baylor Notes
Yearbook The Tower
Endowment $90 million

Baylor School, commonly called Baylor, is a private, coeducational prep school on the outskirts of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Founded in 1893, the school currently sits atop a 680 acres (2.8 km2) campus and enrolls students in grades 6-12, including boarding students in grades 9-12. These students are served by Baylor's 148 members of faculty, over two-thirds of whom hold advanced degrees, including nearly 40 adults who live on campus and serve as dorm parents. Baylor has had a student win the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement in math and science and a teacher receive the National Siemens Award for Exemplary Teaching. The school is also an athletic powerhouse, having the best high school sports program in Tennessee and in the top 25 nationwide according to Sports Illustrated.[5] In the past 21 years, Baylor has won a remarkable 157 state championships, including a national record of 16 consecutive victories in women's golf from 1995-2012. They have also repeatedly been named national champions in both men's and women's swimming by Swimming World Magazine.[6] For the 2011-12 school year, Baylor enrolled 1070 young men and women, 20% of whom lived on campus as representatives of 21 states and 24 countries.[7]



John Roy Baylor

Baylor School was founded in 1893 by John Roy Baylor, a graduate of the University of Virginia. He had been hired by leading men of Chattanooga to establish a college-preparatory school for the "young men of the city," and on September 12, Baylor's University School of Chattanooga opened its doors for its first class: a group of 31 boys between ages 10 and 17, each charged a tuition of $100.[8] These classes were originally held in an old house in downtown Chattanooga, located at 101 McCallie Avenue; the school later moved to a location on Palmetto Street, also in the city. The first classes of the school were all-male; in 1900, the school began enrolling young women, but by 1912 had reverted to having an all-male class. The school would not again admit women until 1985, over seventy years later. In 1915, with the help of philanthropist John Thomas Lupton, Baylor moved to its current location overlooking the Tennessee River. That 30-acre (120,000 m2) campus has since expanded to 670 acres (2.7 km2), but the quad in the center of campus has never moved, marking the location of the heart of Baylor School.

Military school[edit]

In 1914, World War I broke out in Europe; by the fall of 1917, hundreds of thousands of American soldiers were fighting in the war. In response to the growing need of the United States for honorable, well-educated soldiers, Baylor became a military school, fully accredited by the U.S. War Department. Baylor would remain a military school until 1971—the midst of the Vietnam War, when public support for the war would be at an all-time low.

New headmasters[edit]

In 1925 the school began calling itself "Baylor School" in honor of its founder, who would die in the following year. The school then named Dr. Alexander Guerry as its second headmaster. He remained in that position from 1926 to 1929, before leaving the school to become chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and then later chancellor of The University of the South. His successor was Herbert B. Barks, Sr., who remained as headmaster for the next thirty-five years. The current headmaster is Scott Wilson, a graduate of the class of 1975.[8]


The school has maintained a strong rivalry with the crosstown boys-only McCallie School ever since McCallie's founding in 1905. Baylor historically had close ties with Chattanooga's Girls Preparatory School (GPS), until Baylor admitted girls in 1985. The two schools are now rivals in girls' athletics, as GPS and McCallie currently maintain extremely close ties.



Baylor's endowment (or net fund balance) was $132 million according to a tax return filed on November 14, 2011.[9] This endowment is maintained by about twenty trustees and is one of the thirty highest endowments in the United States.[10] On a per-student basis, $132 million divided by 1070 students yields an average value of over $120,000 per student, higher even than several universities such as Babson College, The College of William & Mary, and Rochester Institute of Technology.


Baylor's tuition for 2015-2016 was $22,603 for day students, $46,037 for domestic boarding students and $49,412 for international boarding students.[11] For boarders, Baylor offers need-based financial aid in addition to merit scholarships via its Distinguished Scholars Program.[12] For day students, Baylor also offers need-based financial aid, and awards the Jo Conn Guild Scholarship for students of exceptional merit.[13] For Baylor's 2015-16 school year, the average boarding student received an aid package worth $27,118; the average day student received an aid package worth $11,096.[11]


  • Baylor School's mission is to foster in its students both the desire and the ability to make a positive difference in the world.
  • Baylor offers 22 Advanced Placement courses. In 1954 it was one of only 38 secondary schools, and the only one in the South, invited to participate in the then-new AP program.[14]
  • Baylor's core curriculum consists of mathematics, English, science, history, and language classes. Baylor offers language classes in the following languages: Spanish, French, Latin, German, and Chinese.
  • 76% of Baylor's most recent senior class took at least one AP class, while 48% of the most recent junior class took at least one AP class and 8% of the most recent sophomore class took an AP class.[15]
  • The graduating class of 2011 sent four graduates to Ivy League schools. There were two students who attended Stanford University, which is not an Ivy League School. Colleges chosen most often the class of 2011 were the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (13), the University of Alabama (9), Sewanee: The University of the South (7), Ole Miss (6), the University of Florida (5), the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (5), Georgia Southern University (5), and Emory University (4).[16]


In 2005, Baylor was named the leading high school sports program in Tennessee for 6 consecutive years, and in the top 25 nationwide by Sports Illustrated.[5] For the 2006-07 school year, Sports Illustrated again named Baylor as the athletic program as the top program in the state of Tennessee.[17] Baylor's 1973 football team was tabbed mythical national champions by the National Sports News Service, and both men's and women's swim teams have been named national champions by Swimming World magazine.[18][19] Baylor's teams are nicknamed the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders. Baylor competes in the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) and its varsity sports are:



  • Baylor students can participate in Baylor's Walkabout program, an outdoors program that takes students kayaking, rock climbing, bouldering, trekking, hiking, and caving. Walkabout also goes on an annual trip to Costa Rica for advanced kayakers and a biennial trip to India to trek.
  • Baylor's community service program, which is known as "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." (Regard Every Soul Purely Embracing Compassionate Thoughts), takes 10 students (Juniors and Seniors) to Kingston, Jamaica every Spring Break after they have spent the school year raising money to send Jamaican children to school. On this trip, they visit a state-run home for the aged, a state-run orphanage, and the community whose children are sent to school with the money these high school students have raised. Students from the Community Service program also take trips to Asheville, North Carolina twice a year to volunteer in a local homeless shelter.
  • Baylor has more than 60 other extracurricular organizations,[citation needed] including the Round Table Literary Discussion Society, which began in 1942, the Peer Tutor Program, the Student Congress and Model United Nations Team, and the annual Periaktoi Art Magazine.[20]
  • Tenth and eleventh grade students can participate in a Student Exchange Program with schools around the world, such as the Southport School and St Hilda's School in Southport, Queensland, Australia along with Bishops College in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Seniors end their last year with a senior camping trip, a tradition begun in 1975.[21]


Baylor's 670-acre (2.7 km2) campus is located on the banks of the Tennessee River with red brick buildings scattered around the campus, some almost 100 years old. Some of the buildings and facilities include the following:

Academic facilities[edit]

  • Katherine and Harrison Weeks Science Building, Baylor's science building, houses biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, forensic science, human physiology, environmental science, genetics, and Lower School science classes. Baylor's main computer lab, "the Bullpen," is located on the bottom floor of Weeks. This computer lab is open to the public and also hosts Baylor's computer science and computer applications classes in private computer classrooms. The building opened in 1999, named for benefactor Katherine Weeks and her husband, Harrison, a student from 1925-1928.[22]
  • Barks Hall is home to Baylor's Lower School. The top two floors of Barks belong to Hedges Library, Baylor's school library. The 1961 building is named for former headmaster Herbert B. Barks.[22]
  • Academic Hall, formerly known as the Lower School Building, is the home of Baylor's sixth grade. The bottom floor of Academic hosts Baylor's Spanish classes, one French class, and also contains Baylor's second largest computer lab.
  • Trustee Hall, opened in 1936, was formerly a dormitory. It houses offices as well as classrooms for English, mathematics, and German. Baylor's Writing Center is also in Trustee Hall.
  • An addition to Baylor's Alumni Chapel was dedicated in 1991 by Rev. Billy Graham. The main chapel is where weekly assemblies and chapel services are held. (The school began as a non-sectarian school; now not a religious school, it retains a chaplain and required "chapel" meetings that feature guest speakers. Electives are taught in ethics and religion.[23]) The original 1927 chapel, now called Old Chapel, is now used for upper-school study hall. Beneath the main chapel is a majority of the mathematics department. The chapel also houses the Board of Trustees' board room.

Art facilities[edit]

  • Ireland Fine Arts Center is Baylor's fine arts building. Ireland houses Baylor's pottery, drawing, painting, print making, and lower-school art classes. Ireland provides inspirational views for artists as it overlooks the Tennessee River. Named for the family of benefactor Bill Ireland, class of 1941.[24]
  • The Roddy Performing Arts Center is home to Baylor's performing arts. Dance, drama, photography, and film classes are located in Roddy. Roddy has a 148-seat black box theater, equipped with a state of the art Strand Lighting system. The building also houses a large scene shop, dance studio, photo studio, screening rooms, and a darkroom. Roddy is also used by outside production companies throughout the year to bring special productions to the Baylor community. Named for the benefactors, the Roddy family of Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Baylor's Music Building is a music studio with acoustically engineered rehearsal rooms, private practice rooms, a piano room, and a music library for Baylor's instrumental and vocal programs. The Music Building houses Baylor's choir, band, orchestra, and lower-school music classes.

Residential facilities[edit]

  • Lowrance Dorm is one of Baylor's four girls' dorms. Lowrance overlooks the Tennessee River, and is home to students of all grades. Lowrance, built in 1989, also houses the infirmary. It is named in honor of Ruth Lowrance Street, the wife of trustee Gordon P. Street and mother of trustee Gordon P. Street Jr.[22]
  • Hunter Hall is home to Baylor's admission and administrative staff. Hunter is located at the center of campus and houses a girls' dormitory as well as two classrooms in Hunter. Built in 1917 as Academic Building, it is named for 1907 alumnus and trustee George T. Hunter.[22]
  • Probasco Hall is one of four boys' dorms. The 1966 building is named for benefactor Scott L. Probasco.[22]
  • Riverfront Dorm is Baylor's newest girls' dorm. It overlooks the Tennessee River. Riverfront, along with Harrison Hall, are Baylor's only dorms that are fully residential (i.e. no classrooms or offices).
  • Lupton II, III, and Lupton Annex are the home to Baylor boys from all grades. Lupton III is known for having the largest dorm rooms on campus. Lupton also overlooks the Tennessee River. Latin, French, English, mathematics, and history classes are also held in the bottom two floors of Lupton. Lupton Annex and Lupton are connected at the third and fourth floors. The first Lupton Hall was built in 1915. The buildings are named for Coca-Cola bottler John Thomas Lupton, the largest benefactor of the school.[22][25]
  • Harrison Hall is the newest of Baylor's residential life facilities. The $3.1 million LEED certified dormitory, which houses 24 male students and two dorm parents, was dedicated on May 8, 2009. It honors the family of trustee J. Frank Harrison.[22]

Dining facilities[edit]

  • Guerry Hall is the dining hall. The 1931 building was recently expanded and modernized. It honors the school's second headmaster, Alexander Guerry.[22] Also, Guerry Hall is being renovated the summer of 2015.

Athletic facilities[edit]

  • The Field House is Baylor's main home for athletics. It has three basketball courts made of a multi-versatile surface, a cardio-weight room, several men's and women's locker rooms, several coaches' offices, the training room, James C. Duke Arena (Baylor's main basketball court), and the meeting room for Baylor's Honor Council. The newest addition to the Field House is Baylor's Aquatic Center, the school's multimillion-dollar, Olympic-sized swimming pool, which opened in 2006.
  • Baylor's Alexander Guerry Tennis Center, completed in 1987, includes 12 outdoor courts and 7 indoor courts. Named for the benefactor.
  • The Luke Worsham Memorial Wrestling Arena is Baylor's new wrestling facility. It was built in the structure of Baylor's former swimming pool, but is now a state-of-the-art wrestling arena. Named for the former teacher and wrestling coach.
  • Heywood Stadium is home to Baylor's football team in the fall, track and field and lacrosse teams in the spring. Built in 1971, it was named for former coach Humpy Heywood. The field is named for former football coach E.B. "Red" Etter.
  • Baylor also has its own Short Game Center where Baylor's boys' and sixteen-time state champion girls' golf team practice.
  • The Lower Fields are home to Baylor's varsity and junior varsity baseball, softball, lacrosse, and soccer teams. Baylor's cross country loop and crew boathouse are also located at the Lower Fields.
  • The Parry Center, located near the Tennis Center, is home to Baylor's Walkabout program. There is also an indoor climbing gym located directly behind the Parry Center.

Other campus features[edit]

  • Perched in the quadrangle in the heart of the campus is a statue of the mythological character Icarus, placed in memory of a student, Johnson Bryant, who died in a 2003 car wreck while a student at Baylor. The statue stands as a reminder to students to always find balance to avoid a similar fate.


As an outgrowth of the well-known Baylor/McCallie rivalry, the oldest rivalry in Tennessee, the school week of the football game is referred to as Spirit Week. During this time, students may forgo wearing the required uniform to wear themed costumes. The most commonly recurring of these themes is "Red Day," which typically is on the Friday of the Baylor/McCallie football game, in celebration of the school's color, in which the theme is to dress in as much red as is humanly possible. Prizes are awarded to whichever student is deemed by the school to be wearing the most red. In 2009 Baylor won the well-known rivalry football game against McCallie for the first time in eleven years, and has won the game against McCallie five times since then, with a recent win in 2013. (The wins occurred in four regularly scheduled Baylor-McCallie games as well as a TSSAA playoff game.)

Honor code and Honor Council[edit]

Baylor students must abide by the rules of Baylor's honor code, established in 1916.[26] Baylor School's honor code is based on the honor code at the University of Virginia. When students enter the school, they sign a pledge: "the Honor System is an understanding among Baylor student that they do not want among them one who will lie, cheat, or falsify information. I understand this principle, and I recognize that I shall be expected to live in accordance with it." After entry to Baylor, before every test, Baylor students sign their name, pledging "I pledge that I have upheld both the letter and the spirit of the Baylor Honor Code, neither giving nor receiving unauthorized assistance on this assessment." Students who are charged with violating the honor code must stand trial with the Honor Council, consisting of two freshmen, three sophomores, four juniors, and five seniors. Punishments for violation of the honor code range from a warning to expulsion.

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]


Baylor alumni excel in a multiplicity of fields. Perhaps the Baylor alum with the most historical significance is businessman Jo Conn Guild, who together with Wendell Willkie sued to determine the constitutionality of the Tennessee Valley Authority nearly one hundred years ago. In the current era, many alumni are noted for their work in politics, including U.S. Ambassador to NATO David M. Abshire, U.S. presidential candidate Thomas J. Anderson, Tennessee State Senator Bo Watson, Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr., current Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, former Chattanooga Mayor Jon Kinsey, Georgia Congressman Charlie Norwood, and the 48th Governor of Alabama, Fob James. Several Baylor graduates have excelled in medicine, including cardiologist Francis M. Fesmire and psychiatrist Robert Taylor Segraves. A number of Baylor graduates, such as Hugh Beaumont (famous for being the father on the classic 1950s and early 1960s TV show Leave it to Beaver), have gone on to have notable careers in entertainment. Many Baylor students go on to play sports collegiately and professionally, including collegiate and pro golfer Harris English, Olympic Gold Medal-winning swimmer Geoff Gaberino, swimmer Brad Hamilton, Pro Football Hall of Famer John Hannah, College Football Hall of Famer Herman Hickman, pro football player Jacques McClendon, and World No. 4-ranked tennis player Roscoe Tanner. Notable alumni involved in journalism and literature include Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists and authors Bill Dedman and Wendell Rawls, Jr., newspaper editor Albert Hodges Morehead, and authors Coleman Barks, William E. Duff, and Arthur Golden.


  • Dan Kennedy, Cartter Lupton distinguished professor of mathematics, only high school teacher to chair the AP Calculus test development committee, and author of five mathematics textbooks.


Headmasters through the years include:[27]

  • 1893-1926: John Roy Baylor was the founder and led the school in its 25th anniversary in 1918; the school was named after him one year prior to his death in 1926.
  • 1926-1929: Alexander Guerry became the headmaster upon the death of the founder. He went on to lead the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Sewanee: University of the South.
  • 1929-1964: Herbert B. Barks, Sr. led the school through the Depression, World War II, and a 1940 polio epidemic that killed one student. He also led the school in its 50th anniversary celebrations in 1943.
  • 1964-1970: Charles E. Hawkins, III led the school through the turbulent sixties, headed the celebrations of the school's 75th anniversary in 1968, and resigned as the school was debating dropping the military program. He was succeeded by an acting headmaster, teacher Bryce Harris.
  • 1971-1988: Herbert B. Barks, Jr. was the son of the former headmaster and a 1951 alumnus. He was headmaster when 40 girls (the Fab 40) were admitted in 1985.
  • 1988-1998: L. Laird Davis, Jr. saw the school celebrate its centennial celebrations in 1993, the completion of the fine arts complex, and the groundbreaking for the Weeks Science Building.
  • 1998-2004: Jim Buckheit added the sixth grade and saw the school through the beginning of the 21st century. He was then followed by an interim headmaster, former Baylor teacher Jack Stanford.
  • 2004-2009: Bill Stacy was a former chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
  • 2009-: Scott Wilson is a 1975 graduate and former teacher, coach, and admissions director.[28]

Further reading[edit]

  • Hitt, James E.; It Never Rains After Three O'Clock: A History of the Baylor School, 1893-1968; Baylor School Press (Chattanooga, Tennessee), 1st Edition, (1971). (This book actually covers the period of 1893-1971.)


  1. ^ "Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)". GNIS Detail - Baylor School. USGS. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Boarding Viewbook". Boarding Viewbook. Baylor School. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "About Baylor". Overview. Baylor School. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "School Profile" (PDF). School Profile. Baylor School. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Shipnuck, Alan (2005-05-16). "Top 25 High School Programs". Sports Illustrated. p. 57. 
  6. ^ Swimming World High School Teams of the Year
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "Baylor's History". Baylor School. Baylor School. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Baylor School's Form 990 IRS filing". Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  10. ^ "Largest Endowments". Boarding School Review. Boarding School Review. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "Affording Baylor". Baylor School. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  12. ^ "Boarding Scholarships". Baylor School. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  13. ^ "Day Scholarships". Baylor School. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Advanced Placement Courses". Baylor School. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ Armstrong, Kevin (2007-06-19). "Best in state: The top high schools in each of the 50 states and D.C.". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ Milly Rawling, "Baylor School," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°05′13″N 85°20′17″W / 35.087°N 85.338°W / 35.087; -85.338