Collegiate School (New York City)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Collegiate School (New York))
Jump to: navigation, search
Collegiate School
Collegiate School logo.png
301 Freedom Place South
New York, NY 10069
Type Private, day, college prep
Motto Latin: Nisi Dominus Frustra
("Unless God, then in vain")
Dutch: Eendracht maakt macht
("In unity there is strength")
Established 1628
Founder The Rev. Jonas Michaelius and the Dutch West India Company
Chairman George R. Bason, Jr. '72
Headmaster Lee M. Levison
Faculty 113
Grades K-12
Gender Boys
Number of students 660
Campus Urban
Color(s) Orange and blue         
Nickname Dutchmen
Newspaper The Journal
Yearbook The Dutchman
Affiliations Ivy Prep School League
New York Interschool

Collegiate School is an independent school for boys in New York City. Founded in 1628, it is one of the oldest schools of any kind in the United States. [1][2] It is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and is a member of both the New York Interschool and the Ivy Preparatory School League. It is ranked one of the best K-12 all boys prep schools in the United States.[3]


Collegiate was founded in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in 1628 by the Dutch West India Company and the Classis of Amsterdam. Its initial incarnation was a co-ed school located south of Canal Street. The institution's location has changed sixteen times over the last four centuries. After 125 years at West 77th/78th Street, the school recently moved into its new home at 301 Freedom Place South [4].

Founding date[edit]

Collegiate states it is the oldest school of any kind in the United States.[1] Prior to 1984, the common belief was that the school had been founded in 1638, placing it two years later than the founding of Harvard University and three years after the founding date of Boston Latin School. Massimo Maglione, a historian and Upper School teacher at Collegiate, conducted research into the accuracy of this date and discovered a letter that Collegiate's founder—the Reverend Jonas Michaëlius, the first minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in America—had written in 1628 about his efforts to teach the catechism to Indian children. Based on this evidence, the school in 1984 officially moved up its founding to 1628.[2]


On February 5, 2013, the Collegiate School board announced relocation plans for the institution. The school acquired land for a new facility, situated between West End Avenue and Riverside Boulevard and between West 61st and 62nd Streets in New York's Riverside South neighborhood (a.k.a. Trump Place). Board Chairman George R. Bason Jr. '72 said the new 178,000-square-foot school would provide 30 percent more indoor space and over 600 percent more outdoor space (16,268 square feet) for its 648 students from kindergarten through 12th grade than the current lodgings provide. He estimated the new school's construction cost at $125–$135 million.[5] On January 12, 2018, Collegiate officially opened its new location at 301 Freedom Place South [6].

School seal and mottos[edit]

Collegiate's official seal is an adaptation of the coat of arms of William of Orange, who was the founder of the Dutch Republic and of the Reformed Church in that country and led the cause of independence and of freedom for the Reformed Church against Philip II of Spain. Included in the school's seal are two mottos: Eendracht Maakt Macht, Dutch for "In unity there is strength", and Nisi Dominus Frustra, Latin for "unless God, then in vain."


Collegiate School campus


Currently, the school teaches students in grades K-12. In 2017, Collegiate adopted the following Statement of Beliefs[7]:

We believe that we are at our best when all members of the school community conduct themselves with respect, kindness, and integrity.

We believe that the traditions and values of this old but not old-fashioned school can inspire boys to develop their individual capacities for personal and academic excellence.

We believe that boys learn best when they are members of a diverse and just community that fosters purposeful and spirited engagement, inquiry, and collaboration in academics, athletics, and the arts.

We believe that a liberal arts education committed to diligent and discerning scholarship prepares students to be citizens who act with conscience, courage, and compassion.


From 1892-2017, Collegiate resided at several buildings on 77th and 78th Streets on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The former schoolhouse on West 77th Street is, together with the adjoining West End Collegiate Church, an historic landmark in the City of New York.

In 2013, the School announced that it would be moving to a new location and in January 2018, Collegiate moved into a new facility at 301 Freedom Place South. It consists of an eleven-story building (nine stories above ground and two below ground), with 180,000 square feet of classroom, athletics, theater, music, art, library, dining, and administrative space. The School features common areas dedicated to each division that provide space for independent study, social interactions, and divisional activities.

The Lower School is located on floors 2 and 3 and provides opportunities for students to explore, question, collaborate, and play. Students have grade-appropriate common areas as well as a digital lab that allows our youngest students to use technology creatively.

The Middle School occupies floors 8 and 9. It has its own Maker Space, along with flexible classrooms, a Middle School Center and large, modern group study spaces.

The Upper School is housed on floors 5 and 6. It is significantly larger than the division’s previous space and is adjacent to the library. It features flexible classrooms and common areas that promote interaction among students and faculty.

Collegiate’s library is on floor 5. It features study carrels, group study rooms, as well as a separate Lower School library with a rug seating area, soft seating, and table seating appropriate for Lower School students.

Sciences for all three divisions are consolidated onto floor 7 creating the opportunity for faculty and student partnerships and an inviting environment for student mentoring and interdivisional collaboration. The School’s science facilities provide dedicated individual research space and modern equipment, allowing students to conduct innovative research on campus.

Visual arts and music occupy floor 4, complete with music practice spaces, art studios, and a digital photo lab. Additionally, on the Lower Level, performing arts benefit from a 307-seat auditorium and a black-box theater, both of which support Collegiate’s vibrant drama program.

Collegiate’s athletics are housed in the Lower Level and include a high school regulation-size gym that supports our basketball teams. The gym can be partitioned to provide PE classes and practice space simultaneously. An additional gym, the Alumni Gym, can accommodate regulation wrestling competitions, half-court basketball, and features a retractable batting cage.

Outdoor space consists of a large roof deck on floor 9 with a large recreation area and a ground-level, 5,000-square-foot courtyard that allows for handball and basketball.[8]


Each grade has approximately 50 boys, many of whom attend Collegiate for the full course of study, thirteen years (these students are nicknamed "Survivors"). More than a quarter of Collegiate teachers hold a Ph.D.

The school is private, and it functions under a New York City non-profit statute enacted in the 1940s. Collegiate is controlled by a Board of Trustees, and the school is administered by a Headmaster.


Collegiate's Board of Trustees selected Lee M. Levison to serve as the school's 28th Headmaster, replacing W. Lee Pierson, who served as interim headmaster for two years after Kerry Brennan left to become headmaster at Roxbury Latin School, following a four-year tenure at Collegiate. Levison, who was head of school at the Kingswood-Oxford School for many years, began serving at Collegiate July 1, 2006.


Collegiate's Upper School (high school) curriculum consists of English, Math, Science, History, Modern Foreign Languages (Spanish, French, or Chinese), Classics (Latin and Ancient Greek), Religion & Ethics, Music, Visual Art, Drama, Technology, and Physical Education.


In 2007, The Wall Street Journal ranked Collegiate number one in the world in terms of percent of the senior class matriculating to eight selective American colleges.[9] In 2002, Worth ranked Collegiate third among the nation's independent schools in terms of percentage of graduates attending Harvard University, Yale University, and Princeton University.[10]

Sports and co-curricular activities[edit]

The school's athletic success has mainly been with the varsity basketball, baseball, track and field, soccer, and cross country teams. The Collegiate soccer team won the NYSAIS state championship in 2010, 2011, and 2012. The Collegiate varsity basketball team won five straight state championships in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The Collegiate cross country team won 25 Ivy League Championships in a row from 1990–2014. Collegiate also has wrestling, lacrosse, and tennis teams. Students not participating in a sport take either physical education, yoga, or weightlifting. Yearly fitness tests are administered in the lower and middle schools.

The school has a number of clubs, especially in the Upper School.

Notable alumni[edit]

Affiliated organizations[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Colligiate's Arithmetic Makes it the Oldest School". New York Times. May 5, 1985. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Gifted Parents Help Collegiate School". New York Times. May 24, 1988. Retrieved November 29, 2016. The concert celebrated what Collegiate calls its 360th anniversary. Which year the school was actually founded - 1628, 1633 or 1638 - has created disputes among the nation's oldest schools that seem as enduring as the schools. In 1984, Collegiate moved its date from 1633 to 1628, because officials discovered a letter written in 1628 by the Rev. Jonas Michealius of the Dutch Reformed Church describing his efforts to teach catechism to Indian children. To Collegiate officials, that sounded as much like a preparatory school as anything operating in early 17th-century America. The change puts Collegiate in the position of marking its 360th anniversary 55 years after it celebrated its 300th anniversary, in 1933. "It was all thrashed out around 1910," the headmaster, Cornelius B. Boocock, told The New York Times in 1933. "The case is now settled."... 
  3. ^ Laneri, Raquel. Forbes  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Anderson, Jenny (February 5, 2013). "Collegiate School, New York's Oldest Private School, Plans 17th Move". The New York Times. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Gamerman, Ellen (November 30, 2007). "How to Get Into Harvard". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  10. ^ "2003 PrepSchool/High School Rankings". American Universities Admission Program. Archived from the original on December 27, 2008. Retrieved December 29, 2008.  Attributed to Worth.
  11. ^ Pat McGilligan (1997). "Backstory 3-Interviews with screenwriters of the 1960s(George Axelrod)". p. 50. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Collegiate Yearbook auction(David Benioff)". Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  13. ^ Peter Bogdanovich (2005). Who the Hell's In it: Conversations with Legendary Actors. Random House. p. 7. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  14. ^ Heymann, C. David (2008); American Legacy: The Story of John and Caroline Kennedy. Atria Books. ISBN 0743497392, pp. 145-146
  15. ^ Rhodes, Gary D. (2001). White Zombie: Anatomy of a Horror Film. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-7864-2762-8. Retrieved 4 December 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°47′00″N 73°58′52″W / 40.78333°N 73.98111°W / 40.78333; -73.98111