Peddie School

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The Peddie School is a college preparatory school in Hightstown, in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. It is a non-denominational, coeducational boarding school located on a 280-acre (110 ha) campus, and serves students in the ninth through twelfth grades, plus a small post-graduate class. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools since 1928.In its 2015 rankings, Business Insider ranked the school's tuition as the 18th most expensive private high school tuition in the United States, with tuition and fees of $44,800. The site ranked Peddie 13th on its 2015 list of the Most Elite Boarding Schools In The US, with rankings based on the size of each school's endowment, average SAT scores and selectivity. The school is also extremely selective, with an acceptance rate of 22%.As of the 2021 - 2022 school year, the school had an enrollment of 537 students and 78.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 7.0:1. The school's student body was 59.3% White, 16.0% Asian, 12.9% Black, 6.0% Hispanic and 5.8% two or more races. Peddie had 62% of students in residence. The student body represented 26 states as well as 29 foreign countries. Peddie had an average class size of 12. Peter Quinn succeeded John Green as head of school in 2013.


What is now The Peddie School was founded as an American Baptist school, The Hightstown Female Seminary, in 1864. Later that year, boys were admitted and it changed its name for the first time, to New Jersey Classical and Scientific Institute. In 1872, it became the Peddie Institute in honor of philanthropist and politician Thomas B. Peddie, who gave the school $25,000 ($500,000 in 2015 dollars). In 1923 the school was formally renamed The Peddie School, which is as it remained until 2005 when the school was renamed Peddie School and the present logo was created.Peddie remained coeducational until 1908, when, for social and economic reasons, it decided to admit boys only. This was reversed in the early 1970s, and girls were readmitted. Today, the school is coeducational and non-denominational.In 1993, former Ambassador Walter Annenberg (Class of 1927) gave $100 million to Peddie, the largest donation ever made to a U.S. secondary school at the time.As of 2018-19, the school's endowment stood at $344 million.


The academic year is divided into three terms. The school offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses in AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics C, AP Environmental Science, AP European History, AP United States History, United States Government, AP French Language, AP Spanish Language, AP Latin Literature, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Psychology, AP Computer Science, AP Art History, AP Music Theory, AP Studio Art and AP Chinese Language and Culture. An independent study program provides students with the opportunity to study a specialized subject in depth.The Signature Experience program allows Peddie juniors and seniors to pursue in-depth academic and co-curricular passions that promote their intellectual, social, and moral growth, through intensive summer programs or study over a longer period of time, or through in-depth courses of study housed within or between academic departments.


All students must participate in theater, be on an interscholastic team, or be in one of the elective physical-education classes after school. The Ian H. Graham Athletic Center houses a swimming pool; three basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts (surrounded by an indoor Tartan track); a wrestling room; an indoor soccer and lacrosse facility with Astroturf, a 2,000-square-foot (190- m²) fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment; a room housing thirty ergometers; and a fully equipped 6-bed training room and sports-medicine center. Outdoor facilities include fourteen tennis courts, eight multipurpose fields, a specially equipped varsity football and lacrosse training field, a softball field, an Olympic-caliber ¼-mile all-weather track, a varsity football and lacrosse field, three baseball fields. The Hovnanian Fields added another six fields, dedicated seasonally to the freshmen and junior varsity soccer and lacrosse teams. The Athletic Center holds the Heisman Trophy donated to the school by Yale University lineman Larry Kelley (Peddie class of 1933), who won it in 1936, the second year in which it was given. Peddie has its own 18-hole golf course, where the boys' and girls' golf teams compete. The course is a private facility of the Peddie Golf Club, but students and faculty have free access to the greens. The school competes in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League, a sports league with participating institutions from preparatory schools in the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania area. Peddie is a member of the New Jersey Independent School Athletic Association (NJISAA), competing in the "Prep 'A'" division with Lawrenceville School, Hun School of Princeton, Blair Academy, Saint Benedict's Preparatory School and other New Jersey preparatory schools depending on the sport. Peddie has graduates competing at the collegiate level in swimming, wrestling, basketball, track, crew, baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, golf, and tennis. The school mascot is the falcon.The girls track team won the New Jersey indoor track Non-Public / Prep state championship in 1928 and 1929.

Football rivalry

Peddie's arch-rival is Blair Academy, and the two schools compete every year during the second week of November for the Potter-Kelley Cup. The day of the football competition, which alternates yearly between campuses, is known as Blair Day at Peddie (and Peddie Day at Blair). The game between the two schools is the oldest football rivalry in New Jersey and ranks among the oldest in the country.


Peddie's crew team was first recognized on the national stage in 1993, when the men's midweight 4+ won a Youth National Championship title in Occaquan, VA. This feat was nearly repeated three years later, with Peddie coming in second in the same event by less than half a second. In 2006, the Peddie Girls' Varsity Four won the United States Youth National Championship, a regatta hosting the strongest club and scholastic teams in the nation. They won again in 2007, defending their U.S. Youth National Regatta title. In 2008, Peddie's Girls' Varsity Four placed third in their division at the Head of the Charles Regatta and returned to the Youth National in Ohio, placing second. The men's varsity four also traveled to Ohio, placing twelve in the Varsity Lightweight Four event. In 2009 the girls and boys returned to the National Championships. The girls regained their first place position, and the men placed sixth in the Petite Final of the Heavyweight Varsity Four. The women then continued on to the Henley Women's Regatta in England, setting a course record on their way to the final and eventually placing second.


Peddie also boasts a nationally-acclaimed swimming program. Peddie School swimmers (students or alumni) have represented their nations in every Olympics since 1992. The team has won the Swimming World Mythical National Championships eight times, including the inaugural boys' and girls' independent-school titles in 1977 and 1982. The teams in the early 1990s were among the most-dominant high-school swimming programs in history, winning back-to-back boys' and girls' Mythical titles in 1990 and 1991. The 1994-95 team was the only team ever to lead the nation in all six relays. In 2007 both the girls' and boys' teams claimed first place at the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships held at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the 2007 championships, Peddie broke three national independent-school records in the girls' relay events. In 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 the Peddie's boys swim team won the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships, continuing their success.The boys swimming team won the New Jersey Non-Public state championship in 1951.


In 2010, the girls' basketball team won the ESPN National High School Invitational, defeating Oak Hill Academy by a score of 60-44 in the tournament final and finishing the season with a 25-2 record. From 2000-2010 the girls' basketball program has been ranked one of the top 25 teams in the country seven times. During this same time period, three McDonald's All-Americans played for the Falcons including: Crystal Goring '05 (Richmond), Bridgette Mitchell '06 (Duke) and Haley Peters '10 (Duke).

Notable alumni

Notable alumni of the Peddie School include: Walter Annenberg (1908-2002; class of 1927), former Ambassador to the United Kingdom and founder of TV Guide and Seventeen magazines. Roberto Arias (1918-1989), Panamanian politician. B. J. Bedford (born 1972), Olympic gold-medalist swimmer (women's 4x100 metre medley relay team) in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Paul Benacerraf (born 1931), philosopher working in the field of the philosophy of mathematics. Heath Benedict (1983-2008), Dutch American football player. Matt Brown (born 1989), professional football player. George Case (1915-1989), 11-year Major League Baseball outfielder. Finn M. W. Caspersen (1941-2009, class of 1959), financier, philanthropist, CEO of Beneficial Corporation and Knickerbocker Management. Leslie Caveny (class of 1980), film / television writer and producer known for her work on Everybody Loves Raymond. Chingo Bling (born 1979), Mexican-American rapper and record executive. Duane 'Dewey' Clarridge (born 1932), former CIA operative and author of A Spy for All Seasons, his memoirs. Pia Clemente (class of 1989), received Academy Award nomination for Best Live Action Short Film for her film, Our Time is Up. Oliver Crane (born 1998), rower, who set the record as the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, when he completed the 3,000-nautical-mile (5,600 km; 3,500 mi) journey in 2018. Ronald S. Dancer (born 1949), politician who has served in the New Jersey General Assembly since 2002. Nelson Diebel (born 1970), double Olympic gold-medalist swimmer at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Phil Evans (journalist) (1933-2011), journalist, editor of The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Times. Colin Ferrell (born 1984), defensive tackle for the Indianapolis Colts, who played collegiate football at Kent State University. Elmer H. Geran (1875-1964; class of 1895), United States Representative from New Jersey's 3rd congressional district from 1925-1927. Erik Hanson (born 1965; class of 1983), pitcher who played for 11 years in Major League Baseball. Richard Hooker (1924-1997), author of M*A*S*H, which spawned the film of the same name and the subsequent M*A*S*H television series. Tim Hurson (born 1946; class of 1963), speaker, writer, creativity theorist, author of Think Better: An Innovator's Guide to Productive Thinking. Larry Kelley (1915-2000), winner of the 1936 Heisman Trophy. Howard W. Koch (1916-2001), film producer and director whose movies include Airplane! and The Odd Couple. Robert B. Kugler (born 1950; class of 1968), Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and also serving as a Judge on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Reid Lamberty (born 1973; class of 1992), former television anchor for Fox 5 New York, now anchor at NBC affiliate WHDH, Channel 7, Boston. E. Grey Lewis (1940-2005), lawyer who served as General Counsel of the Navy. Mike Maccagnan (class of 1985), General Manager of the New York Jets. John J. McCloy (1895-1989), Assistant Secretary of War during World War II, president of the World Bank and U.S. High Commissioner for Germany. Pat Miller, head coach of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons football team from 1929 to 1932. Eric Munoz (1947-2009), physician and politician, who served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2001 until his death. B. Russell Murphy (1889-1957, class of 1909), athlete, coach, and athletics administrator during the early 20th century, who was the first basketball coach at Johns Hopkins University. George Murphy (1902–1992), Academy Award-winning actor, president of the Screen Actors Guild and U.S. Senator for California from 1964-71. Hossein Nasr (born 1933; class of 1950), Iranian philosopher. David Paddock (1892–1962), All-American college football player for the Georgia Bulldogs. Fernando Perez (born 1983), Major League Baseball player for the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago Cubs, and published poet in Poetry magazine. Haley Peters (born 1992), professional women's basketball forward with the Atlanta Dream of the Women's National Basketball Association. John Plant (1877-1954), basketball player who served as head coach for the Bucknell Bison men's basketball team from 1926-1932. Myron Rolle (born 1986), Rhodes Scholar who played safety in the NFL for the Tennessee Titans. Richard Sachs (born 1953; class of 1971), custom bicycle frame maker. Nat Sakdatorn (born 1983), winner of Thailand's reality-television singing contest Academy Fantasia (Season 4) and now a singer-songwriter in the Thai music industry under the label "True Fantasia". Gerald Schnitzer (class of 1936), screenwriter, author, producer and TV director for Lassie and National Velvet. Billy Schuler (born 1990), soccer player for the Carolina RailHawks in the North American Soccer League. Alan Shapley (1903-1973), Lieutenant General in the United States Marine Corps and a recipient of the Navy Cross. Heather J. Sharkey (born 1967, class of 1985), Marshall Scholar, Fulbright-Hays Scholar, historian of the Middle East and Africa at the University of Pennsylvania, author Lloyd Spencer (1893-1981), politician who served as United States Senator from the state of Arkansas from 1941 to 1943. Jonathan Sprout (born 1952), songwriter, performer and recording artist. Stanley Steingut (1920-1989), New York Assemblyman (1953-1978), Minority Leader of the Assembly (1969-1974), Speaker of the New York Assembly (1975-1978), and Chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Committee (1962-1969). Chris Tomson (born 1984), drummer of indie rock band, Vampire Weekend. Larry Townsend (1930-2008), author of dozens of books including The Leatherman's Handbook (1972). Richard Tregaskis (1916-1973), war correspondent and author of Guadalcanal Diary, the source for the 1943 film of the same name starring William Bendix, Richard Conte, and Anthony Quinn. Hakeem Valles (born 1992; class of 2011), American football player E. Norman Veasey (born 1933), Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court. Albert L. Vreeland (1901-1975; class of 1922), U.S. Representative from New Jersey. Glen Everett Woolfenden (1930–2007), ornithologist, known for his long-term study of the Florida scrub jay population at Archbold Biological Station near Lake Placid, Florida.
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