Marlborough School (Los Angeles)

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Marlborough School
250 South Rossmore Avenue, Hancock Park


United States
Coordinates34°04′12″N 118°19′37″W / 34.0699°N 118.32685°W / 34.0699; -118.32685Coordinates: 34°04′12″N 118°19′37″W / 34.0699°N 118.32685°W / 34.0699; -118.32685
Head of schoolDr. Priscilla Sands
Student to teacher ratio8:1
Color(s)Purple and white
Team nameMustangs (formerly the Violets)
NewspaperThe UltraViolet

Marlborough School is an independent college-preparatory secondary school for grades 7 through 12 at 250 South Rossmore Avenue in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Marlborough was founded in 1889 by New England educator Mary Caswell and is the oldest independent girls' school in Southern California.[1] In 2016, Town & Country magazine ranked Marlborough as the "best girl's school in America."[2] Students who attend Marlborough are also known as violets, the original Marlborough mascot. Marlborough is 6th in the U.S. for schools with the highest standardized test scores. (citation needed)


Mary Caswell, a young teacher from Maine, founded Marlborough in 1889 as St. Margaret's School for Girls.[3] In 1890, the school adopted the name Marlborough and moved from Pasadena to the rapidly growing city of Los Angeles. Caswell led the school until 1924, when Ada Blake (recruited from Louisville Collegiate School) assumed its leadership. Blake expanded the curriculum substantially and the School gained a reputation for providing young women with an uncommonly rigorous education.

By the 1960s, the School was supported by a healthy foundation and an active board of trustees, who hired William Pereira and Associates to design new buildings. The Los Angeles business community actively supported the school in the latter half of the 20th century, with local titans including Robert H. Ahmanson and Charlie Munger giving generously.

In 2015, Dr. Priscilla Sands was named head of school. Sands came to Marlborough after a career at the Agnes Irwin School and the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, both independent schools in the Philadelphia area.


The student-to-teacher ratio at Marlborough School is approximately 8:1, lower than the national high school average of 11:1 and the public school average of 16:1.[4] This ratio enables Marlborough to offer over 156 courses. Over 80% of faculty members have more than ten years of teaching experience and almost 90% have advanced degrees. In recent years, the most popular postgraduate destinations for Marlborough women include a mix of elite private and "public ivy" institutions.

Marlborough ranked sixth in the nation among high schools with the highest standardized test scores according to Business Insider.[5]

Recent guest speakers at Marlborough include Queen Rania of Jordan,[6] former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, historian Edward L. Ayers, Nobel Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee, and producer/actor Mindy Kaling.

Notable alumnae[edit]

Notable faculty and staff[edit]

Pop culture mentions[edit]

Marlborough recently has been mentioned in the shows Ray Donovan and Red Band Society.[38]


  1. ^ Marlborough School
  2. ^ Dangremond, Sam (11 April 2016). "Here Are the Top Boys and Girls Schools in America". Town & Country. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  3. ^ "History and Tradition". Marlborough School. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  4. ^ Marlborough School - Los Angeles, California/CA - Private School Profile
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Queen Rania of Jordan". CBS News. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Private Lives". LIFE. 3 (18): 114. November 1, 1937.
  8. ^ "Carolin Stark Is Dead; Tennis Star in 1930's". New York Times. March 31, 1987.
  9. ^ Keylon, Steven. "The California Landscapes of Katherine Bashford". Eden: Journal of the California Garden and Landscape History Society, vol. 16, no. 4 (Fall 2013).
  10. ^ "Katherine Emilie Bashford". The Cultural Landscape Foundation website. Accessed Oct. 22, 2015.
  11. ^ O'Connor, Pauline (12 February 2006). "Starlet Behaving ... Nicely?". New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  12. ^ Colacello, Bob. "Remembering Betsy Bloomingdale, Who Reigned Over Los Angeles Society and Influenced a First Lady". Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  13. ^ "A well-drawn career" (PDF). The Ultra Violet. Marlborough School. 36 (6). May 5, 2006.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Robertson, Nan. The Girls in the Balcony: Women, Men, and the New York Times.
  16. ^ Yamato, Jen (14 August 2012). "Hunger Games Hits DVD/Blu: Jacqueline Emerson Talks Foxface, Her Future, And Devo 2.0". Daily Truffle. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Alumnae Profile: Sabaah Folayan '09 Directs Documentary Film, "Whose Streets?"". Marlborough School. February 13, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  18. ^ O'Connor, Pauline (12 February 2006). "Starlet Behaving ... Nicely?". New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  19. ^ 2006 CIF State Cross Country Championships Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  20. ^ Myrna Oliver, Philanthropist 'Dolly' Green; Heiress Owned Thoroughbreds, The Los Angeles Times, September 05, 1990
  21. ^ Marc Wanamaker, Early Beverly Hills, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2005, pp. 17-18 [1]
  22. ^ "Society News The Chatterer". Los Angeles Herald (205). 24 April 1910. THE CHATTER LOS ANGELES society as well as the musical world has more than usual Interest in the wonderful success, of Miss Leila Holterhoff, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Godfrey Holterhoff of West Adams street
  23. ^ "Environmental Design Archives: Hooker". University of California Berkeley. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  24. ^ Meredith May, Caroline Howard Hume, S.F. philanthropist, dies, San Francisco Gate, October 30, 2008
  25. ^ Mutti-Mewse, Austin (September 3, 2006). "Lois January". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  26. ^ Colacello, Bob (2004). Ronnie and Nancy: Their Path to the White House--1911 to 1980. Grand Central Publishing. p. 62.
  27. ^ Pyun, Jeanie. "Insider's Guide to L.A. Private Schools". The Hollywood Reporter (17 August 2017). Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  28. ^ Haithman, Diane (19 October 2003). "The Reluctant Savior". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  29. ^ Diamond, SJ (16 April 1993). "Theirs Was a Model Pairing : Peggy Moffitt drew from dance, acting and mime to show the clothes of Rudi Gernreich, the designer of the '60s. Their careers were inextricable. Now, she's back in his creations-- of course". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  30. ^ Pyun, Jeanie. "Insider's Guide to L.A. Private Schools". The Hollywood Reporter (17 August 2017). Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  31. ^ Monahan, Terry (29 March 2006). "Daughter of hoops legend plays with memory of late RB student". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  32. ^ Rivers, Melissa (2016). The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation. p. 90.
  33. ^ Oswaks, Molly (18 March 2015). "Why a Spielberg and a Goldwyn Passed Over Their Dads' Hollywood for Snapchat". New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  34. ^ Bates, Daniel (21 March 2011). "Blonde MSNBC anchor sued by best friend after failing to repay $65k loan". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  35. ^ Madeline (13 November 2010). "Deu discusses past with Arcade Fire". The Ultra Violet. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  36. ^ Spalding, Deborah (May 16, 1948). "Last Grads Will Note 10th Year Since School Closed". The Los Angeles Times. p. 55. Retrieved September 13, 2019 – via
  37. ^ . Los Angeles Times,1,1064869.story?ctrack=1&cset=true. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  38. ^ "Marlborough in Entertainment". The Ultraviolet.

External links[edit]