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Grahm Junior College

Coordinates: 42°20′54.40″N 71°05′40.40″W / 42.3484444°N 71.0945556°W / 42.3484444; -71.0945556
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A former Grahm building now the Myles Annex owned by Boston University

Grahm Junior College was a non-profit junior college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It opened in 1951 under the name Cambridge School, as part of a chain of schools that started in New York City and later included Chicago and Philadelphia branches. It was accredited in 1964 as a business school and later expanded to include radio and TV broadcasting. It was renamed Grahm Junior College in 1968. The college radio station and a closed-circuit television station were known as WCSB.


The school opened in 1951[1] under the name Cambridge School,[2] as part of a private chain of schools based in New York City.[1] Originally located at 18 Tremont Street, it moved to 120 Boylston Street,[3] then to 687 Boylston Street,[4] and finally to Kenmore Square. The 687 Boylston Street building, "The Kensington" had two lions flanking the entrance, and the school therefore adopted the lion as its mascot.[5] The same lions now flank the entrance to the Fairmont Copley Hotel. The Cambridge School became accredited as a Junior College of business in 1964[5][6] and later expanded its offerings to include secretarial studies, hospitality, and radio and TV broadcasting.[5]

At its peak enrollment of 1,300 students[5] in 1968, the school occupied 4 buildings in Boston's Kenmore Square, the notable Hotel Kenmore (dormitories), Wadsworth Hall (dormitories) the present-day Hotel Buckminster (dormitories and classrooms) and 632 Beacon Street (offices, classrooms and broadcast studios). The Cambridge School purchased 632 Beacon Street in May 1965 from the Hotel Corporation of America.[6] It had been previously owned by the Lumber Mutual Insurance Company.[7] Sale prices was purported to be under three million dollars. The Kenmore Hotel was purchased by the Cambridge School in 1965.[6] The Saint George Hotel (circa 1911) was purchased in 1966 (appraised at $300,000) and renamed Leavitt Hall.[8]

In 1968, the school was renamed Grahm Junior College after its long-term president, Milton L. Grahm.[5][9][10][11] In September the same year, it was restructured as a non-profit institution.[11] In 1969, the college announced a $6 million development program, including $500,000 of equipment. It included two television studios and radio studios. The library was expanded and 14 classrooms were added. A physical education facility, classrooms, offices and an endowment were envisioned, but never realized. In 1974, the school received accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.[12]

By 1974, enrollment at Grahm was declining,[13] attributed by many to the end of the military draft and the rise of the community college system. In the mid-1970s many two-year colleges began to close or shed buildings or other assets.[14] The Boston Globe reported that 30 out of 40 two year and trade schools closed between 1970 and 1980.[citation needed] In early 1977 Grahm's financial distress was publicly disclosed.[15] Enrollment had declined 12 percent in three years. Staff salaries were cut and others were laid off. Fuel bills and inability to refinance were cited by the college administration as primary causes.

In March 1977 Grahm Junior College filed for reorganization under the bankruptcy code, citing $3 million in assets and $3.326 million in liabilities.[16] Creditors repossessed much of the school's instructional assets in April 1979.[17] Faculty continued to teach without pay in order for the final class to graduate, and the school closed that summer. Boston University purchased 632 Beacon St. (Myles Annex), 490 Commonwealth (Kenmore Hall) and the adjacent Wadsworth Hall in October 1979.[18] The rights to the academic programs were acquired by Mount Ida College.[citation needed]

Alumni activities[edit]

Reunions have been held beginning at the turn of the millennium,[5] and there are alumni groups on social media.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b Boston Globe, March 11, 1951.
  2. ^ Tarkulich, Bill (November 2013). "The History of Grahm Junior College".
  3. ^ Boston Globe, February 3, 1952.
  4. ^ Boston Globe, December 1, 1958
  5. ^ a b c d e f Matthew Hasson, "Grahm Junior College—A History", AOL Hometown, archived on April 1, 2004.
  6. ^ a b c Boston Globe, May 18, 1965.
  7. ^ Boston Globe, January 24, 1965.
  8. ^ Boston Globe, December 4, 1966.
  9. ^ "Cambridge School Changing Name", Sunday Herald Traveler, February 25, 1968, Section 3, p. 8.
  10. ^ Legal Notice of Hearing, Board of Higher Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Record American, Boston, January 12, 1968.
  11. ^ a b "Grahm Jr. College Latest in State", Boston Globe, February 25, 1968, p. A11.
  12. ^ Boston Globe, January 6, 1974.
  13. ^ Boston Globe, February 6, 1974.
  14. ^ Boston Globe, February 3, 1975.
  15. ^ Boston Globe, February 26, 1977.
  16. ^ Boston Globe, March 26, 1977.
  17. ^ Boston Globe, April 10, 1979.
  18. ^ Boston Globe, October 13, 1979.
  19. ^ ESPN, The Bristol Press (Connecticut), April 14, 2012.

External links[edit]

42°20′54.40″N 71°05′40.40″W / 42.3484444°N 71.0945556°W / 42.3484444; -71.0945556