Lawrenceville School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Lawrenceville School
Lawrenceville School seal.png
Virtus Semper Viridis
"Virtue is Always Green"
Lawrenceville, NJ
United States
Coordinates 40°17′39″N 74°43′30″W / 40.29414°N 74.72494°W / 40.29414; -74.72494Coordinates: 40°17′39″N 74°43′30″W / 40.29414°N 74.72494°W / 40.29414; -74.72494
Type Private, Day & Boarding, College-prep
Established 1810
Head Master Stephen Sheals Murray
Faculty 113.3 (on FTE basis)[1]
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 817[1] (2013-14)
Student to teacher ratio 7.2:1[1]
Campus 700 acres (2.8 km2)
Color(s) Red/Black
Athletics conference Mid-Atlantic Prep League, New Jersey Independent Schools Athletic Association
Sports 21 sports teams
Mascot Big Red
Rival The Hill School
Accreditation MSA
Average SAT scores 670 critical reading
700 math
690 writing
Endowment $374 Million (as of June 2014)
Affiliations NJAIS

The Lawrenceville School is a coeducational, independent college preparatory boarding school for students in ninth through twelfth grades. The school is located on 700 acres (2.8 km2) in the historic Lawrenceville section of Lawrence Township, in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States.

Lawrenceville is a member of the Eight Schools Association, begun informally in 1973–74 and formalized in 2006. Lawrenceville is also a member of the Ten Schools Admissions Organization, founded in 1966. There is a seven-school overlap of membership between the two groups.[2] Lawrenceville was additionally formerly a member of the G20 Schools group. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1928.[3]

As of the 2013-14 school year, the school had an enrollment of 817 students and 113.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 7.2:1.[1] Students came from 34 states and 40 countries. As of June 2014, its endowment stood at $374 million.[4]

Lawrenceville received 1,894 formal applications for entrance in fall 2016, of which 354 were offered admission.[5]

In its 2015 rankings, Business Insider ranked the school's tuition as the second-most expensive private high school tuition in the United States, with tuition and fees of $48,700 behind the $49,092 charged by Connecticut's Salisbury School. In the five years that the publication has report its rankings, it was the first time that Lawrenceville was not the top-ranked school.[6]


One of the oldest preparatory schools in the United States, Lawrenceville was founded in 1810 as the Maidenhead Academy by Presbyterian clergyman Isaac Van Arsdale Brown. As early as 1828, the school attracted students from Cuba and England, as well as from the Cherokee Nations. It went by several subsequent names, including the Lawrenceville Classical and Commercial High School, the Lawrenceville Academy, and the Lawrenceville Classical Academy, before the school's current name, "The Lawrenceville School", was set during its refounding in 1883. An 18-acre (7.3 ha) area of the campus built then, including numerous buildings, has been designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark District, known as Lawrenceville School National Historic Landmark.[7] A newer portion of the campus, not intruding into that district, was built in the 1920s. Lawrenceville was almost entirely white for its first 150 years, with the first African American student admitted in 1964.[8]

Lawrenceville was featured in a number of novels by Owen Johnson, class of 1895, notably The Prodigious Hickey, The Tennessee Shad, and The Varmint (1910). The Varmint, which recounts the school years of the fictional character Dink Stover, was made into the 1950 motion picture The Happy Years starring Leo G. Carroll and Dean Stockwell and was filmed on the Lawrenceville campus. A 1986 PBS miniseries was based on his Lawrenceville tales.[9]

Among Lawrenceville's prominent teachers over the years have been Thornton Wilder, a three-time Pulitzer Prize–winning author, who taught French at the School in the 1920s; R. Inslee Clark, Jr., who revolutionized Ivy League admissions at Yale in the 1960s; and Thomas H. Johnson, a scholar of early American poetry.[citation needed]

Lawrenceville was all-male for much of its nearly 200-year history, until the board of trustees voted to make the school coeducational in 1985. The first girls were admitted in 1987, and 178 of the 725 students were female during the 1987-88 school year.[10] In 1999, the student body elected a female president, Alexandra Petrone; in 2003, Elizabeth Duffy was appointed the School's first female headmaster; and in 2005, Sasha-Mae Eccleston, Lawrenceville Class of 2002 and Brown University Class of 2006, became Lawrenceville's first alumna to win a Rhodes Scholarship.


The school's weekly, student-run newspaper, The Lawrence, is the third oldest secondary school newspaper in the United States, after The Phillipian and The Exonian, Phillips Academy Andover's and Phillips Exeter Academy's weeklies, respectively. The Lawrence has been published regularly since 1881. Students comprise the editorial board and make all decisions for the paper, consulting with two faculty advisors at their own discretion.[11]

Other student-run publications include The First Amendment, a monthly political magazine founded in 2010; LMAG, a semesterly fashion magazine; The Contour, a newspaper on global issues; El Artículo, a Spanish publication, and The Lit, a literary magazine published three times a year. The Lit was founded in 1895 by author Owen Johnson, who went on to write the Lawrenceville Stories.[12] Also published annually are the Olla Pod, the yearbook; Lawrencium, the science research journal; and Prize Papers, a compilation of the best academic work in the English Department by that year's IVth Form class.

Historic Landmark[edit]

Lawrenceville School
Memorial Hall, Lawrenceville School (Lawrenceville, NJ).JPG
Memorial Hall at Lawrenceville School
Lawrenceville School is located in Mercer County, New Jersey
Lawrenceville School
Lawrenceville School is located in New Jersey
Lawrenceville School
Lawrenceville School is located in the US
Lawrenceville School
Location in Mercer County, New Jersey
Location Main Street, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Coordinates 40°17′42″N 74°43′45″W / 40.29500°N 74.72917°W / 40.29500; -74.72917
Area 17.74 acres (7.18 ha)[14]
Architect Peabody & Stearns; Frederick Law Olmsted
Architectural style Queen Anne, Romanesque
NRHP Reference # 86000158[13]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP February 24, 1986
Designated NHLD February 24, 1986[15]

The Lawrenceville School National Historic Landmark is a 17.74-acre (7.18 ha) historic district on the campus of the Lawrenceville School. This portion, the old campus area built in 1894–1895, was designed in a collaboration between the landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted and the architects Peabody & Stearns.[16][17] A new campus area, built in the 1920s, does not intrude and is not included in the district.[14]

The district was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.[14][15] It is included in the Lawrence Township Historic District, created in 1972.

School heads[edit]

Heads of school include:[18]

Geography and setting[edit]

The Lawrenceville School sits across U.S. Route 206 or Main Street, from the center of Lawrenceville. The village has historically been active as a commercial center for students. The Jigger Shop was for decades one of the most popular student hang-outs, with a soda fountain and the school bookstore. The school assumed ownership of the store in the 1970s and after a 1990 fire, the Jigger shop moved from Main Street to an on-campus location. The village's pizza parlor TJ's remains a popular off-campus spot for students. The cafe Fedora's and the Maidenhead bagel shop also serve as popular hang out locations for students.

The school includes a golf course, and owns much of the land to its east, which is covenanted as Green Space under New Jersey state law.

Residential life[edit]

Lawrenceville utilizes a house system, common to British boarding schools. Students reside in three distinct groups of houses (or dorms), where they live with faculty members.


House Football: Griswold vs. Woodhull

Lawrenceville's rival is The Hill School of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, which it competes against as one six schools in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League.[20] On the first or second weekend of November during "Hill Weekend," the two schools celebrate the nation's third oldest high school football rivalry and fifth oldest school rivalry in the nation, dating back to 1887.[21]

Lawrenceville competes with other schools in baseball, basketball, crew, cross-country, fencing, field hockey, football, golf, hockey, indoor and outdoor track, lacrosse, soccer, softball, squash, swimming, tennis, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling. In addition, the School offers a variety of intramural sports, including ultimate for the girls' Crescent Houses and 8-man tackle football for boys' Circle Houses. The athletic directors of Lawrenceville and the other members of the Eight Schools Association compose the Eight Schools Athletic Council, which organizes sports events and tournaments among ESA schools.[22][23][24]

Athletic achievements[edit]

In the Spring of 2010, the Lawrenceville Boy's Varsity Crew won the MAPL league by beating out Peddie, Hun, and Blair,[25] placed first at the USRowing Mid-atlantic youth championship,[26] then went on to place 13th at the USRowing Youth Nationals held at Lake Harsha, Ohio by winning the C Level Final;[27] multiple members of this crew either went on to race for the United States Jr. National Team[28] or the United States Jr. National development team. In the Fall of 2010, the Lawrenceville Boy's Varsity Crew won the Head of the Christina Regatta in Delaware[29] then later in the season placed 14th in a field of 75 at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Massachusetts.[30]

In the spring of 2008, the Lawrenceville boy's and girl's varsity track and field team completed its season undefeated, placing first in the NJISSAA and MAPL.[citation needed] In winter 2011, the 4x200 team was the fastest in the nation, earning each one of them the status of All-American.[31] By January 2014, the Lawrenceville boy's varsity track team had won 103 dual meets in a row; The boys team has not lost a dual meet, a Prep State A championship, or the MAPL championship since 2006.[32] In winter 2014, the 4x55 Shuttle Hurdle Relay team was ranked #2 in New Jersey and #3 in the Nation.[31]

On November 6, 2005, the Lawrenceville Varsity Field Hockey team defeated Stuart Country Day School 2-1 to capture their third straight Prep A State Championship. On November 5, 2006, the Field Hockey team defeated Stuart Country Day School 1-0 to capture their fourth straight Prep A State Championship. In 2007 they tied rival Stuart Country Day School for a shared victory in their 5th straight Prep A State Championship with a 2-2 tie on a late Lawrenceville goal.[33]

On February 12, 2006, the Lawrenceville Varsity Boys' Squash team won the National Championship for the third year in a row.[34]

On May 18, 2006, the Lawrenceville Varsity Baseball Team won the New Jersey State Prep A Championship over Peddie School in a double header (14-0 and 6-1), marking their second state championship in three years.[citation needed] Lawrenceville defeated Peddie again in the 2010 finals to win its second consecutive Prep A title.[35]


Edith Memorial Chapel

On Lawrenceville's 700-acre (2.8 km2) campus are 38 major buildings, including the Bunn Library (with space for 100,000 volumes). Peabody and Stearns designed the original campus of the school, which included Memorial Hall (renamed Woods Memorial Hall in January 2010), a gymnasium, the headmaster’s house, five dorms, and provided future plans for the chapel.[36][37]

The four Crescent House Dorms, Stanley, McClellan, Stephens, and Kirby, designed by Short and Ford Architects, of Princeton, NJ, were opened in 1986, with a 5th house, Carter, opened in 2010. The Circle, declared a national historic landmark, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.

Lawrenceville has eighteen athletics fields, a nine-hole golf course, twelve outdoor tennis courts, a 14-mile (400 m) all-weather track, a boathouse, and a ropes and mountaineering course. During the summer, Lawrenceville is a popular site for sports-specific camps for youths, as well as several academic programs for students and teachers, including the New Jersey Scholars Program.

In the spring of 2012, the School began to draw its energy needs from a solar farm, which consists of a nearly 30-acre, net metered, 6.1 megawatt solar facility. The area also has several honey-producing bee hives, which ring the perimerter of the array.[38]


Lawrenceville athletics compete in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League.

Lawrenceville is a member of a group of leading American secondary schools, the Eight Schools Association, begun informally in 1973–74 and formalized at a 2006 meeting at Lawrenceville. At that meeting, Choate headmaster Edward Shanahan was appointed first president, Lawrenceville's Elizabeth Duffy was named first vice president, and former Lawrenceville chief financial officer William Bardel was hired as executive assistant. Shanahan was succeeded in 2009 by Duffy, and Bardel was succeeded by former Hotchkiss head Robert Mattoon. The member schools are Lawrenceville, Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy, Hotchkiss School, Northfield Mount Hermon, Phillips Academy (known as Andover), Phillips Exeter Academy (known as Exeter), and St. Paul's School.[39]

Lawrenceville is also a member of the Ten Schools Admissions Organization, established in 1966 and comprising Lawrenceville, Choate, Deerfield, Hotchkiss, Andover, Exeter, St. Paul's, Taft School, Loomis Chaffee, and The Hill School.

Lawrenceville is affiliated with The Island School in Cape Eleuthera, The Bahamas.


Notable alumni[edit]

Lawrenceville has many notable alumni, including a number of those prominent in public life in America and abroad, such as former President of Honduras Ricardo Maduro, Congressman Patrick Murphy, federal judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, and former Senator and Governor of Connecticut Lowell P. Weicker, Jr..

Other prominent alumni include Obama press secretary Jay Carney, the musicians Huey Lewis and Dierks Bentley, writers including Owen Johnson, James Merrill, and Frederick Buechner, and business executives like Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Alibaba Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai, former Mobil president Rawleigh Warner, Jr., athletes Joakim Noah and Bobby Sanguinetti, and academics including the theorist Laurence A. Rickels and Nobel prize winning economist George Akerlof, and Harvard Law School Professor Charles Fried. Brush firefighter Luke M. Dixon.

Notable faculty[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School Data for Lawrenceville School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed May 4, 2015.
  2. ^ Taylor Smith, "History of the Association," The Phillipian, February 14, 2008
  3. ^ "Lawrenceville School", Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. accessed July 27, 2011.
  4. ^ [1], Lawrenceville School. Accessed February 14, 2014. Archived December 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  5. ^ "Lawrenceville Offers Admission to 354 Students for 2016-2017". The Lawrence. The Lawrence. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  6. ^ Danner, Christi; and Stanger, Melissa. "The 50 most expensive private high schools in America", Business Insider, September 15, 2015. Accessed November 19, 2015. "For the first time, The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, was not the most expensive on our list, but instead was overtaken by another northeastern school: the Salisbury School in Connecticut."
  7. ^ "Lawrenceville School National Historic Landmark", National Park Service. Accessed July 27, 2011.
  8. ^ "Campus Life". The Lawrenceville School 2.0. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  9. ^ Johnson, Malcolm. "Regaining The Spirit Of Prep School Stories", Hartford Courant, November 15, 2001. Accessed May 10, 2015. "The quintessential manifestations of these books for boys, still available and filmed for PBS in 1992, are Owen Johnson's The Lawrenceville Stories, which unfolded in a real prep school and centered on the fictional 'Dink' Stover, who metamorphosed into a hero and a member of Skull and Bones, the Yale secret society of the presidents Bush."
  10. ^ Quinn, Laura. "When Prep School Goes Coed Following the Lead of Many Other Private Schools, Lawrenceville Finally Broke with Tradition to Admit Girls", Philadelphia Inquirer, March 20, 1988. Accessed July 3, 2014. "But, after resisting the pressures that caused dozens of other private schools to go coeducational in the 1970s, Lawrenceville's trustees opened the gates to girls several months ago. Now 178 of the 725 students are female."
  11. ^ "The Lawrence: About". The Lawrence. The Lawrence. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Lawrenceville: Clubs and Organizations". The Lawrenceville School. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  13. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  14. ^ a b c Carolyn Pitts (July 1985). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: The Lawrenceville School" (PDF). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 20 photos, exteriors and interiors, from 1980 and undated PDF (32 KB)
  15. ^ a b "Lawrenceville School". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  16. ^ Pitts, Carolyn (July 1985). "Lawrenceville School" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places - Inventory Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "Lawrenceville School" (PDF). Photographs. National Park Service. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  18. ^ School History, The Lawrenceville School. Accessed May 10, 2015.
  19. ^ Rojas, Cristina (23 August 2014). "The Lawrenceville School names new headmaster". News Website. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  20. ^ Home Page, Mid-Atlantic Prep League. Accessed May 4, 2015.
  21. ^ Ross, Rosemarie. "Hill ends season with key victory", Mercury (Pennsylvania), November 13, 2005. Accessed October 31, 2007. "In the game that annually means the most to them, it was near total Blues dominance as visiting Hill routed arch rival Lawrenceville, 41-18, Saturday to take home the silver trophy bowl for the second straight year. This was their 103rd showdown in a rivalry that started in 1887."
  22. ^ Drive Time Radio (Sort Of) (As Far As You Know). (2010-05-02). Accessed February 15, 2011.
  23. ^ A Lawrenceville Story (As Far As You Know). (2009-05-03). Accessed February 15, 2011.
  24. ^ Meeting, Meeting, Meeting (As Far As You Know). (2007-04-11). Accessed February 15, 2011.
  25. ^ Princeton National Rowing Association :: News. Accessed February 15, 2011.
  26. ^ 2010 USRowing Mid-Atlantic Jr District Championship held on 05/08/2010. Accessed February 15, 2011.
  27. ^ Event # 216 Mens Youth 8+ C Final (14:01) Results USRowing Youth National Championship 2010. Accessed February 15, 2011.
  28. ^ 2010 Junior National Team Bios. Accessed February 15, 2011.
  29. ^ 2010 Head of the Christina Official Results, Wilmington Youth Rowing Association, backed up by the Internet Archive as of October 6, 2010. Accessed May 10, 2015.
  30. ^ Powerhouse Timing Results Viewer. Accessed February 15, 2011.
  31. ^ a b Home Page, MileSplit NJ. Accessed May 10, 2015.
  32. ^ "Record-Setting Day For Big Red Track & Field", The Lawrenceville School., January 22, 2014. Accessed May 10, 2015. "With wins on Saturday against the Pennington School, Robbinsville High School, Lenape High School, and Hamilton High School West, the boys' varsity indoor track team secured 103 consecutive dual meet victories for the School's boys' track and field program."
  33. ^ Alden, Bill. "Johnson’s Speed Makes a Big Difference as Stuart Field Hockey Shares Prep Crown", Town Topics (newspaper), November 7, 2007. Accessed July 28, 2011. "Late in the second half, Johnson raced down the sideline past the Stuart bench and split the Big Red defense, helping the Tartans to score and take a 2-1 lead with 7:30 remaining in regulation.Lawrenceville, though, knotted the game at 2-2 with a disputed goal that came with 2:32 remaining in the second half. The heated contest went into overtime and Johnson was stymied as she was carded in the first overtime. After a tearful scene on the bench, Johnson eventually returned to the game and made several runs into the heart of the Lawrenceville defense. But the efforts of Johnson and her teammates weren’t enough to break the deadlock and the game ended in a 2-2 tie with the teams being named co-champions."
  34. ^ Staff. "Navy Squash to Open 2006-07 Campaign on West Coast", CSTV, November 2, 2006. Accessed September 4, 2011. "Mattsson, who battled George in the title game of the Barb Trophy, is a product of The Lawrenceville School who also turned out Navy junior squash standout Jeff Sawin (Haverford, Pa.). Mattsson was a member of the 2004, '05, and '06 squash teams that were crowned National Champions and served as team captain his senior season."
  35. ^ Birch, Red. "HS BASEBALL: Lawrenceville beats Peddie to win second straight Prep A state championship", The Trentonian, May 16, 2010. Accessed September 4, 2011.
  36. ^ "Peabody & Stearns - Schools". 
  37. ^ Lawrenceville School News Archived January 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  38. ^ "The Lawrenceville School Signs Six Megawatt Solar Power Purchase Agreement with TurtleEnergy", Lawrenceville School News, September 3, 2010. Accessed July 27, 2011. "Fully operational, the solar array will produce 8,500 megawatt-hours annually of clean electricity or more than 90 percent of the School's needs, offset 5,300 short tons (4,800 t) of CO
    , and provide a setting to teach sustainable energy and the use of materials, land, and water in ways that promote ecological literacy and sustainability. The natural slope of the 30-acre site, currently part of a 268-acre (1.08 km2) farm that is a part of Lawrenceville's 700-acre campus, will make the solar farm invisible from Route 206 and only partially visible from Lewisville Road."
  39. ^ Taylor Smith, "History of the Association," The Phillipian (Phillips Academy), February 14, 2008
  40. ^ Brinkley, Alan. "The End of an Elite", The New Republic, June 7, 2004. Accessed March 16, 2015. "Consider the experience of R. Inslee Clark, who became director of admissions at Yale in 1965. Clark had the typical profile of a senior Ivy League administrator of his time. He was a Yale College graduate, an alumnus of Skull and Bones (the college's most elite secret society), and a former teacher at the Lawrenceville School."
  41. ^ Notable Alumni, The Lawrenceville School. Accessed November 19, 2015.

External links[edit]