The Albany Academy

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The Albany Academy
Albany Academy Seal.jpg
135 Academy Road


TypePrivate, College-prep, Day
MottoHonor Integritas Officium
(Honor, Integrity, Service)
Established1813; 208 years ago (1813)
Sister schoolAlbany Academy for Girls
CEEB code330035
Head of schoolChristopher J. Lauricella
Faculty50+ teachers
Enrollment324 (AAG), 438 (AA) 762 (Combined Boys & Girls)
Average class size16 students
Student to teacher ratio9:1
Campus size25 acres (100,000 m2)
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)Red and Black
Athletics13 interscholastic sports teams
Athletics conferenceColonial Council; NEPSAC
AffiliationThe Albany Academies

The Albany Academy is an independent college preparatory day school for boys in Albany, New York, USA, enrolling students from Preschool (age 3) to Grade 12. It was established in 1813 by a charter signed by Mayor Philip Schuyler Van Rensselaer and the city council of Albany. In July 2007, the once separate Albany Academy and Albany Academy for Girls merged into The Albany Academies. Both schools retain much of their pre-merger tradition and character and each continues to give diplomas under its own name. Tuition ranges from $13,500 for Preschool, up to $23,100 for grade 12.


The Albany Academy is the oldest boys day school in the New York Capital Region, chartered in March 1813 to educate the sons of Albany's political elite and rapidly growing merchant class. In the Census three years prior, Albany was the tenth-largest city in the United States, and would remain so through the 1850s due to the prominence of the Erie Canal.

Old Academy Building, now the Joseph Henry Memorial

Classes began within months after the charter was granted, offering a college preparatory track (including intensive study of Ancient Greek, and Latin) and an arithmetic-based track to prepare young men for Albany's role as a center of commerce. Two years later, in 1815, a purpose-built building was completed in present-day Academy Park, adjacent to the New York State Capitol. The Federal-style building, now known as the Old Academy and headquarters of the City School District of Albany, was designed by renowned Albany architect Philip Hooker. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance and role as home to scientist Joseph Henry's laboratory.[1]

In 1870, in response to a lack of military preparation institutions in the north during the American Civil War, the Albany Academy adopted the Battalion Leadership Program, instructing the "cadets" in military procedure and the art of leadership. In 2005 the school ended compulsory involvement in the program in favor of a House-based leadership program commonly found in English preparatory schools. The four houses, named for prominent historical Academy figures (Beck, Gates, Henry, and Olcott), compete against one another in the fields of academics, athletics, community service, and extracurricular involvement for honor and special privileges awarded to the leading house.

The Academy's cupola rises above the main building and is topped with a fish and pumpkin.

In 1931, the school moved from its original downtown building in present-day Academy Park to its current location on the corner of Hackett Boulevard and Academy Road, in the University Heights section of Albany. Designed by Marcus T. Reynolds in the neo-Georgian style, the building incorporates many elements of the Old Academy building, namely the main entryway and cupola. The school stands approximately two miles from the city center, allowing students access to the resources of the State University of New York at Albany, Russell Sage College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the state capitol, and the state museum and library. The red-brick Academy building's marble cornerstone was laid by the then governor and future president Franklin D. Roosevelt. All grades enrolled in The Albany Academy are housed under the same roof, a point of pride for the Academy Community.

In 2005, The Albany Academy ended its long standing Army JROTC program. This decision came due to declining enrollment among other factors. Certain military aspects are still available to students, but are all "electives."

In July 2007, the board of trustees announced that the decision had been made that The Albany Academy and Albany Academy for Girls would merge into The Albany Academies. Enrollment at The Albany Academy had dropped from 479 students in the 2000–2001 school year, to a low of 340 students in 2005. Single-gender education continues under the present form in Lower and Middle Schools, while Upper School students may continue to cross-register for coed classes and certain extracurricular activities.

On July 1, 2009, the board of trustees announced the appointment of Douglas M. North AA'58, president of Alaska Pacific University, to the position of head of school of The Albany Academies, effective July 2010.[2]


An ornate three-story brick building with a pedimented front section and tall gray cupola
Current Academy Building

The main academic building houses 40 classrooms, two libraries, Mac and Windows computer labs, the cafeteria (called the Buttery), the school book store, the auditorium (known as Caird Chapel), the Wellness Center, the Black Box Theater, a darkroom, the Joseph Henry Science Wing, student and faculty lounges, board rooms, art and music studios, the school's archives, and various administrative offices. The school's athletic facilities include 11 team locker-rooms, 1 soccer/lacrosse field, 1 baseball diamond, 1 football field, the 400-meter Robison Track, the Robison Hockey Arena (formerly home to the Albany Cougars, a special needs hockey team who now play at the Albany County Hockey Facility), 6 outdoor tennis courts, the 6-lane, 25-yard (23 m) Standish Pool, the Rea Fitness Center, 2 indoor gymnasiums, 2 squash courts, conference rooms, long- and high-jump pits, a discus court, and a shot-put court. Other on-campus facilities include Leonard House, the head of school's residence.

Student body[edit]

Drawn predominately from a six-county area and from within a radius of 65 miles (105 km), the student body is ethnically, religiously, and economically diverse. The total 2019-2020 school population is 438 boys, including 86 in the Lower School, 100 in the Middle School, and 252 in the Upper School. There is a total of six countries represented in the school. Students are encouraged to actively participate in all aspects of school life; they are expected to conduct themselves responsibly and treat each other and their teachers with respect. Students are responsible for upholding school rules. The Albany Academy adheres to a school-wide honor code. Student Council members, especially seniors, occupy important leadership positions at Albany Academy. Its Leadership Development Program prepares students to hold leadership positions at school and beyond by providing formal classes on leadership, advising/student mentoring, community service, and involvement in co-curricular programs—all within the structure of a British-modeled House System.

Accreditation and memberships[edit]

The Albany Academies are accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools and recognized by the Regents of the State of New York.

The Albany Academies are a member of the following associations: the College Board, the Cum Laude Society, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Educational Records Bureau, the Capital Region Independent Schools Association, the Association of Boys' Schools, the Secondary Schools Admission Test Board, and the New England Prep School Athletic Association.


Noted alumni include nine U.S. Congressmen, five Professional Athletes, three College Presidents, two Poets Laureate, one U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and one Medal of Honor recipient, noted journalists:

Government, law, business, and public policy[edit]

Learned Hand, Class of 1889

Medicine and academia[edit]

Literature and journalism[edit]

Andy Rooney, Class of 1937

Science and technology[edit]

Arts, sports, and entertainment[edit]




Noted former faculty and administration include inventors, politicians, and seven College Presidents, including four presidents of Amherst College:

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  • NRHP nomination for the original Albany Academy building: Waite, Diana S. (January 1970). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Joseph Henry Memorial (Albany Academy)". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-07-31. See also: Accompanying one exterior photo from 1962
  • The Albany Academies
  • School Profile