Laurelwood Academy

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Laurelwood Academy
Laurelwood Academy logo.png
37466 Jasper-Lowell Road

, ,

Coordinates43°58′36″N 122°52′42″W / 43.97667°N 122.87833°W / 43.97667; -122.87833Coordinates: 43°58′36″N 122°52′42″W / 43.97667°N 122.87833°W / 43.97667; -122.87833
Religious affiliation(s)Seventh-day Adventist Church
PrincipalRandy Thornton
Number of students43[2]
AccreditationNAAS (provisional)[2]

Laurelwood Academy is a private secondary school affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church near Jasper, Oregon, United States. It is a part of the Seventh-day Adventist education system, the world's second largest Christian school system.[3][4][5][6] Founded in 1904 in Laurelwood, Oregon, the boarding school moved to a new 20-acre (8.1 ha) campus in rural Lane County outside of Eugene in 2007. The school has grades 9 through 12 and focuses on agriculture in addition to academics.


Laurelwood Academy

In 1877, the Seventh-day Adventist Church established a Conference in Oregon, and in 1904 established the Laurelwood Academy at Laurelwood near Gaston.[7] The school was built on the former Donation Land Claim of R. D. Walker with the first building on campus a one-story dining hall.[8] When it opened it had grades one through ten under the direction of principal Robert Arye and an enrollment of 16 students – four girls and 12 boys.[8][9] The first graduate of the academy was Henry Dirkson in 1906.[8]

Initially built on 5 acres (20,000 m2), the academy purchased more land from Walker in later years.[8] The institution was expanded with the addition of a chapel in 1908 that was subsequently renovated and expanded in 1919.[8] Principal Arye left the school in 1907 and J. L. Kay became the principal, expanding the curriculum to twelve grades.[8] The academy added a building for teaching manual labor in 1925 followed by a new administration structure in 1943.[8] In 1950, the unaffiliated but adjacent Laurelwood Adventist Elementary School opened.[10] Adventist owned Harris Pine Mills had a furniture making plant across the street that provided some employment to students after it opened in 1965.[11]

By 1976 the four-year academy grew to as large as 350 students.[8] In 1976, Charles Hanson was the principal and the school had dormitories, a science building, gymnasium, and an administration building.[8] The companion elementary school had an enrollment of around 115 students at this same time.[8] Laurelwood Academy was closed in 1985 after enrollment had declined at the schools of the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.[9]

In 1988, the Oregon Conference sold the 430-acre (1.7 km2) academy to a private group run by alumni of the school for $1.5 million.[9] The school also owned stands of timber and other agricultural property, as well as a furniture production facility leased to Harris Pine Mills that closed in 1986.[9][11] When sold, the school had more than a dozen private residences, three academic buildings, two residence halls, and the gymnasium.[9] In September 1988, the company that bought the campus re-opened Laurelwood Academy with 40 students under the direction of principal Harold Clark.[11]

Former campus

Enrollment increased to around 90 students by 1996,[12] and was around 80 in 2001.[13] In 2007, the school re-located to the Eugene, Oregon, area after enrollment was at 90 students.[14] The new campus on Jasper-Lowell Road opened that year on a 20-acre (81,000 m2) piece of property with 19 students.[14] The land was donated to the academy by the McDougal Foundation.[14] Laurelwood Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School still operates in Laurelwood, and now has enrollment of about 20, in grades 1 through 8 while the former academy buildings there housed the Mission College of Evangelism for a few years.[15] The former grounds in Laurelwood were sold to the religious group Ananda in May 2011.[16]

The Academy closed after the 2010-2011 school year, due to financial issues. They have decided to run a "small school" for the 2011-2012 school year, and they hope to regain financial footing for the 2012-2013 year. The campus will still be used for a yearly camp-meeting by Light Bearers Ministries.


The academy enrolled students in grades 9 through 12 at the boarding school.[17] Laurelwood was provisionally accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools.[2][17] In addition to academics, students also learned manual labor by farming on the campus.[14] Agriculture and business were the primary educational focuses of Laurelwood Academy.[14] Laurelwood is an affiliate of Outpost Centers International.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Oregon School Directory 2008-09" (PDF). Oregon Department of Education. p. 139. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
  2. ^ a b c "Accredited Schools 2007-2008" (PDF). Northwest Association of Accredited Schools. p. 83. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
  3. ^"the second largest Christian school system in the world has been steadily outperforming the national average – across all demographics."
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-23. Retrieved 2016-03-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Department of Education, Seventh-day Adventist Church". Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  6. ^ Rogers, Wendi; Kellner, Mark A. (April 1, 2003). "World Church: A Closer Look at Higher Education". Adventist News Network. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  7. ^ Corning, Howard M. (1989) Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing. p. 3.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Communities: Laurelwood Academy built on land claim". The Hillsboro Argus. October 19, 1976. p. 12.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Adventists sell Laurelwood properties to alumni organization", The Oregonian, August 3, 1988, p. B4.
  10. ^ Leeson, Jeanne. "Washington County private schools grow", The Oregonian, September 13, 1990, West Zoner, p. 6.
  11. ^ a b c Ostergren, Jack. "Doors opening, shutting in Laurelwood", The Oregonian, September 15, 1988, West Zoner, p. 1.
  12. ^ Gaynair, Gillian. "Gaston students plan trip to Belarus", The Oregonian, December 26, 1996, West Zoner, p. 9.
  13. ^ Smith, Jill. "Feeding the whole family without hoofs and horns", The Oregonian, December 27, 2001, West Zoner, p. 10.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Bishop, Bill (April 2, 2007). "Adventist training academy blossoms; Church; The school is moving from Portland and building on a Jasper-Lowell Road site". The Register-Guard. p. C1.
  15. ^ "Home". Mission College of Evangelism. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
  16. ^ House, Kelly (June 24, 2011). "Ananda religious group expands to Gaston retreat center". The Oregonian. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  17. ^ a b F.A.Q.’s. Laurelwood Academy. Retrieved on March 12, 2009.

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