Groton School is a private Episcopal college preparatory boarding
school located in Groton, Massachusetts, United States. It enrolls
about 370 boys and girls, from the eighth through twelfth grades.
Tuition, room and board and required fees in 2014-15 amounted to
$56,700 (with books extra); 38% of the students receive financial
aid. The school is a member of the Independent School League. There
are many famous alumni in business, government and the professions,
including President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
4 Abuse allegation
5 Notable alumni
7 Further reading
8 External links
Groton School was founded in 1884 by the Rev. Endicott Peabody, a
member of a prominent
Massachusetts family and an Episcopal clergyman.
The land for the school was donated to Peabody by two brothers, James
and Prescott Lawrence, whose family home was located on Farmers Row in
Groton, Massachusetts, north of Groton School's present location.
Backed by affluent figures of the time, such as the Rt. Rev. Phillips
Brooks, the Rev. William Lawrence, William Crowninshield Endicott,
J.P. Morgan, and his father, Samuel Endicott Peabody, Peabody received
pledges of $39,000 for the construction of a schoolhouse, if an
additional $40,000 could be raised as an endowment. The endowment is
over $360,000,000, or approximately $945,000 per student today.
Groton School received early support from the Roosevelt family,
including future President Theodore Roosevelt, and filled quickly.
Peabody served as headmaster of the school for over fifty years, until
his retirement in 1940. He instituted a Spartan educational system
that included cold showers and cubicles, subscribing to the model of
"muscular Christianity" which he himself experienced at Cheltenham
College in England as a boy. Peabody hoped to graduate men who would
serve the public good, rather than enter professional life.
Peabody was succeeded at the end of the 1940 school year by the Rev.
John Crocker, who had been for 10 years the chaplain for Episcopal
students at Princeton University. He himself was a 1918 graduate of
Groton School; 15 members of his family were alumni. Crocker's tenure
included the period of the Civil Rights Movement. In September 1951,
three years before the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education
decision outlawing segregation in public schools, Groton School
accepted its first African-American student. In April 1965 Crocker
and his wife, accompanied by 75
Groton School students, marched with
the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., during a civil rights demonstration
in Boston. After 25 years as headmaster at Groton School, he retired
in June 1965. After Crocker, the Rev. Bertrand Honea, Jr., led the
School from 1965-1969; Paul Wright from 1969-1974; the Rev. Rowland
Cox from 1974-1977; William Polk from 1978-2003; and Richard Commons
Temba Maqubela became the headmaster in July 2013.
Groton School has changed significantly since 1884. Originally, it
admitted only boys; the school became coeducational in 1975. Although
most students in the early years were from New England and New York,
its students now come from across the country and around the world.
However, some traditions remain, such as the school's commitment to
public service, its small community, and its attachment to the
The school has been used as a setting for several novels including
Louis Auchincloss' Rector of Justin (1964). Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep
(2005) has prompted speculation that the fictitious Ault School, the
main setting of the novel, is in fact Groton School, as they bear
striking resemblances and Sittenfeld herself attended Groton. Media
coverage of the school came in the spring of 1999, when three Groton
seniors alleged they and other students had been sexually abused by
students in dormitories in 1996 and 1997.
Currently, Groton is one of three secondary boarding schools in the
country to offer free education to qualified students from families
with household incomes below $75,000 a year.
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Groton School, as viewed from the top of the chapel.
Groton's 385-acre (156-hectare) campus encompasses rolling forests,
expansive meadows, a portion of the Nashua river, and various athletic
fields, as well as academic buildings and dormitories. Most of the
buildings on campus are situated around the Circle, which is the
School's circular common green with a circumference of 1⁄3-mile
(0.54-kilometre). Tradition prohibits students from crossing the
Circle to reach the opposite side of the campus. The School's
buildings include St. John's Chapel, the Schoolhouse, Brooks House and
Hundred House Dormitories, the McCormick Library (approximately 60,000
volumes and over 100 periodicals), the Campbell Performing Arts
Center, the Dining Hall, the Dillon Art Center and De Menil Gallery.
Other facilities include the Athletic and Recreation Center, Pratt and
O'Brien Rinks and Tennis Center, the Bingham Boathouse, outdoor tennis
clay courts and hardcourts, and many faculty homes. The landscape was
designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who is noted
for his design of
Central Park in New York City and various other
The students are divided into Forms ranging from Second Form to Sixth
Form (8th to 12th grade). Second and Third Formers live in Brooks
House, part of Lower School, with their prefects (Sixth Formers);
Fourth, Fifth, and the remaining Sixth Formers live in Hundred House,
also known as Upper School, and in two dorms in Brooks House. Each
dorm has 2–8 prefects, and is headed and named after the faculty
member who has an apartment that is connected to the dorm.[citation
Groton accepted about 12 percent of the applicants as of 2016. In
2013, 88 new students enrolled from 15 states and Washington, DC, and
from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico and Switzerland. Twenty-four
students entered the school as part of the new Second Form, 52 joined
the Third Form, 11 the Fourth Form, and one the Fifth Form. There
are a total of 371 students enrolled, representing approximately 30
states and 15 countries, including 24 students in the Second Form, 82
in the Third Form, 91 in the Fourth Form, 90 in the Fifth Form and 84
in the Sixth Form.
The Form of 2013 median
SAT scores were 700 reading, 710 writing, and
700 math. Between 2008 and 2012, Groton graduates attended the
following colleges most frequently (in order): Georgetown University,
Harvard University, Trinity College, Yale University, Tufts
University, Stanford University, Brown University, Dartmouth College,
Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania.
In Spring 1999, Middlesex County DA's Office began investigating the
claim of three Groton seniors. They alleged they, and other students,
had been sexually abused by students in dormitories in 1996 and
1997. During the school's investigation of the matter, another
student brought a similar complaint to the school's attention. In
2005, the school pleaded guilty in criminal court to a misdemeanor
charge of failing to report this younger student's sexual abuse
complaint to the state and paid a $1,250 fine. The school issued an
apology to the victims, and the civil suit stemming from the first
student's complaint was settled out of court. In the fall of
2006, as part of the settlement, the School published a full apology
to the boy who first alleged the abuse in 1999.
Main article: List of
Groton School alumni
^ See "GRAIN: GRoton Affordability and INclusion", Groton School
website (retrieved February 4, 2018)
^ a b Facts about Groton School
^ Groton School, The Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University
^ "D. C. Youth First Negro To Enter Groton". Jet: 16. June 19,
^ "Private-school education -- at no cost? It's possible" by Hiroko
Sato, Lowell Sun, 26 Nov 2007
^ "The 16 most selective boarding schools in America". Business
Insider. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
Groton School Welcomes New Students", Recent News, Groton School
website, March 10, 2013 (retrieved February 4, 2018)
^ "The Circle Comes to Life with New and Returning Students", Groton
School website, Sep. 8, 2013 (retrieved Sep. 8, 2013).
Groton School 2012-2013 Viewbook[dead link]
^ "Accusations of Sex Abuse at Boarding School".
^ "Elite prep school pleads guilty in sex abuse investigation". USA
Today. 25 April 2005.
^ "In Re: A Grand Jury Investigation".
Ashburn, Frank D., Peabody of Groton, Coward McCann, Inc., New York,
Cookson Jr., Peter W. and Caroline Hodges Persell. Preparing For
Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools (1987)
Fenton, John H., "Groton Headmaster Ends 25-Year Tenure", The New York
Times, June 13, 1965, p. 80.
Hoyt, Edwin P., The Peabody Influence, Dodd, Mead & Company, New
McLachlan, James. American Boarding Schools: A Historical Study (1970)
School official website
Groton School Admissions Video on SchoolFair.tv
The Association of Boarding Schools profile
Members of the Independent School League (New England)
Belmont Hill School
Buckingham Browne & Nichols
The Governor's Academy
Lawrence Academy at Groton
Noble and Greenough School
Roxbury Latin School
St. George's School
St. Mark's School
St. Paul's School
St. Sebastian's Sch