Blue Ridge School
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|Blue Ridge School|
Gibson Memorial Chapel
|St. George, Virginia
|Type||private boarding school|
|Motto||"Teaching Boys To Reach"|
|Headmaster||William "Trip" Darrin|
|Student to teacher ratio||5:1|
|Campus size||751 acres (3 km²)|
|Color(s)||Blue and White|
Blue Ridge School is a private, all-male boarding school for students grades 9-12 in Saint George, Virginia, near Charlottesville. The school was founded in 1909 by George Pickett Mayo, an Episcopalian clergyman, as the Blue Ridge Industrial School. About 200 students attend Blue Ridge from 33 states and ten foreign countries, with many from Virginia and the rest of the Southeastern US. The school's campus is 751 acres (3 km²) in Greene County, Virginia, adjoining Brokenback Mountain at the edge of Shenandoah National Park in the Appalachian Mountains. The headmaster is "Trip" Darren, since 2012.
After two years of information gathering and preparation, the Blue Ridge Industrial School was founded by Reverend George Pickett Mayo in 1909 as a coeducational vocational school, and opened in January 1910 with about 35 students; two students graduated at the first commencement in 1918. Enrollment rose to 112 in 1922 and 165 in 1928. The first building was Neve Hall; the school lost buildings to fires in 1911, 1918, and 1962, when the first infirmary was destroyed, and was hit by a tornado on September 30, 1959. Mayo served as Superintendent until 1944. Blue Ridge became a college preparatory school for boys in 1962, with a short-term reduction of the student body to 66.
The original 148 acre (0.6 km²) campus, located 20 miles (32 km) from Charlottesville, Virginia, sits at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The campus has grown to nearly 750 acres (3.2 km²) and includes a lake and several ponds. The Robert A. Gibson Memorial Chapel, the Martha Bagby Battle House (former Headmaster’s Residence), and the old St. George Post Office still stand on the school's grounds. The Gibson Memorial Chapel, designed by architect Ralph Adams Cram and built in 1929–1932, and the Martha Bagby Battle House were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.
The school crest and a mural in the dining hall depict St George and the dragon. Junior and senior-level students take a men's studies class, undertake physical challenges including team-building exercises and a solo vision quest on the school grounds, perform community service and model themselves on St George and on Jordan Churchill, a former dean of students, meet formally with faculty and alumni, and as a final rite of passage break the prohibition on swimming in the school lake.
Blue Ridge School has many sports and participates in the fall, winter and spring seasons. It participates in the Old Dominion Football Conference (ODFC), the Cavalier Athletic Conference (CAC), and the Virginia Independent Conference (VIC). Its football team won state championships in 1994, 2012, and 2016. Meanwhile, its elite basketball program has produced many Division-1 NCAA prospects amid reaching four consecutive state championships since 2015. In the 2016-17 sports year, both their football team and the basketball team won a VA state championship. It has a 22,000 square foot (2,000 m²) indoor field house its facilities include Massey Gymnasium, indoor tennis and basketball courts, an exercise and weight-lifting facility, wrestling-room, and batting cages. Blue Ridge's athletics teams include:
- V Cross-Country
- JV Cross-Country
- JV Football
- JV Soccer
- Mountain Biking
- V Football
- V Soccer
- Outdoor Adventure Sports
- Indoor Soccer
- JV Basketball
- Outdoor Sports
- Varsity B Basketball
- Varsity Basketball
- Outdoor Adventure Sports
- V Lacrosse
- JV Lacrosse
- V Tennis
- JV Tennis
- Track & Field
Beginning in the mid-1990s, Blue Ridge developed a well regarded basketball program, with players including LaRon Campbell-Hall, Barry Harper, Brandon Freeman, Luke Minor, Tom Timmermans from the Netherlands, and Andrey Savtchenko from Russia, and won a state title.
- "History", Blue Ridge School, retrieved 2018-04-28.
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Christopher P. Mason, Crossing into Manhood: A Men's Studies Curriculum, Youngstown, New York: Cambria, 2006, ISBN 9781934043301, pp. 202–04.
- Adam Himmelsbach, "Blue Ridge School becomes a major prep player", The Free Lance-Star, July 26, 2004, p. B5.