Massimo maglione

Collegiate School (New York)

Collegiate School is a private school for boys in New York City and lays claim to being the oldest school in the United States. It is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and is a member of both the New York Interschool and the Ivy Preparatory School League.


Collegiate was founded in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in 1628 by the Dutch West India Company and the Classis of Amsterdam. The school’s initial incarnation was located south of Canal Street and was an academic institution for both sexes. The school's location has changed several times over the last four centuries, although the school has been at its current location, next to the West End Collegiate Church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, since 1892.

Founding date

Controversy surrounds the school's actual founding date. Prior to 1984, the common belief was that the school had been founded in 1638, placing it two years later than the founding of Harvard University and three years after the founding date of Boston Latin School. Massimo Maglione, a historian and Upper School teacher at Collegiate, conducted research into the accuracy of this date and found that Collegiate's founder—the Reverend Jonas Michaelius, the first minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in America—had written of his efforts to teach the catechism to Indian children as early 1628. Based on this evidence, the school in 1984 officially moved up its founding to the earlier date. Whether Michaelius' early teaching actually constituted the founding of a school, however, remains under debate. Maglione told The New York Times in 1985 that "it seems clear that the school was not an official entity until 1638.

School seal and mottoes

Collegiate's official seal is an adaptation of the coat of arms of William of Orange, who was the founder of the Dutch Republic and of the Reformed Church in Holland and led the cause of independence and of freedom for the Reformed Church against Phillip II of Spain. Included in the school's seal are two mottoes: Eendracht Maakt Macht, Dutch for "In unity there is strength," and Nisi Dominus Frustra, Latin for "unless God, then in vain." Their "sister school" is the Spence School.



Currently, the school teaches students in grades K-12. The school's mission is the following: ''Collegiate School strives to educate each boy to reach his highest level of intellectual, ethical, artistic, and physical development. Drawing on what is known about boys' growth and learning, the school offers a rigorous K-12 program rich in opportunities for cultivating individual talents and interests in a climate of collaboration and respect.


The campus, located between 77th and 78th Streets and West End Avenue, consists of four separate buildings: The “Old Building,” Platten Hall, West End Plaza, and a new six-story extension that bridges Platten Hall with West End Plaza. The four-story “Old Building” is part of the original church and is home to the “Upper School,” grades 9-12. Platten Hall, originally nine stories, was extended in 1990 by two floors. It includes two gyms (in addition to the “Alumni” Gym located next to the “Old Building”), the recently renovated Ann and Edgar Bronfman Theatre, the Black Box Studio theatre, the “Lower School” (grades 1-4), the "Middle School" (grades 5-8), a full-service library, music and art studio facilities, a dark room, two computer labs, a weight-lifting room, and the science department. West End Plaza is a hotel that was purchased by the school in 1977. Though it still serves in part as a residence for teachers, Collegiate has renovated several floors into administrative offices, classrooms for the Kindergarten (added in 1997), “Lower School” and the "Middle School" (grades 5-8), and a cafeteria. All four buildings border a courtyard where students of all grades play and study together.


Each grade has approximately 50 boys, many of whom attend Collegiate for the full course of study, thirteen years (these young men are nicknamed "Survivors"). A financial aid program ensures that the boys remain heterogeneous; as with many of its peer NYC schools, however, many of the boys have parents who can afford the high tuition. More than a quarter of Collegiate teachers hold a Ph.D..

The school is private, though it functions under a New York City non-profit statute enacted in the 1940s. Collegiate is controlled by a Board of Trustees, and the school is administered by a Headmaster.


Collegiate's Board of Trustees selected Lee M. Levison to serve as the school's 28th Headmaster, replacing W. Lee Pierson, who served as interim headmaster for two years after Kerry Brennan left to become headmaster at Roxbury Latin School, following a four-year tenure at Collegiate. Levison, who was head of school at the Kingswood-Oxford School for many years, began serving at Collegiate July 1, 2006.


Collegiate's Upper School (high school) curriculum consists of English, Math, Science, History, Modern Foreign Languages (Spanish, French, or Chinese), Classics (Latin and Ancient Greek), Religion & Ethics, Music, Visual Art, Drama, Technology, and Physical Education.


In 2002, Worth Magazine ranked Collegiate third among the nation's independent schools in terms of percentage of graduates attending Harvard University, Yale University,and Princeton University. In 2007, the Wall Street Journal ranked Collegiate number one in the world in terms of matriculation percentage.

Sports and co-curricular activities

The sporting pride of the school lies in the Varsity Basketball, Baseball, and running teams (Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Outdoor Track). Collegiate also has Varsity and JV Soccer, Wrestling, Lacrosse, and Tennis teams. Students not participating in a sport take either P.E., yoga, or weightlifting. Yearly fitness tests are administered. Under the careful leadership of Coach George Calano, the school's Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track teams have become nationally recognized for their depth and strength. In 2006, Collegiate's Cross Country team was briefly ranked #4 in the nation, which was especially impressive considering the team's small size. In 2007, the Outdoor Track team won the National Championship in the 4x1 mile relay in a time of 17:19.42(US#1). Additionally, the team ran the fastest 4x800m relay in the country with a time of 7:39.5.

The school has a considerable number of clubs, especially in the Upper School. They include:

  • Student Government
  • The Journal, the school's student-run newspaper
  • The Dutchman, the school's student-run yearbook
  • Prufrock, the Upper School's art and literary magazine
  • Debate, a nationally competitive team in Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum Debate
  • CENIC, the school's environmental club
  • JAMAA, a support organization for students of color
  • Asian Cultural Society, an organization which discusses issues relevant to Asian culture
  • Chess Club
  • Kesher, the Jewish Cultural Society
  • Community Service Club
  • Model UN
  • TRACKS, an organization that supports the town of Iten, Kenya
  • Verse, the school's Spoken Word Club
  • Young Independents
  • Young Democrats
  • Young Republicans & Conservatives
  • Charabia, the school's French language magazine
  • Herencia, the school's Spanish language magazine
  • Forum, the school's classics magazine
  • Science Olympiad, which competes at the city and state levels
  • C-Tech, the school's play production club
  • Content, Collegiate's diversity club
  • Foreign Policy/International Relations Council, a discussion group that invites distinguished members in the political arena
  • CALC, the school's math club

Notable alumni

Some notable people attended Collegiate but left the school before graduation. In particular, John F. Kennedy, Jr. attended Collegiate for the third through tenth grades. Other notable non-graduate alumni of Collegiate include:

Affiliated organizations

External links


Search another word or see Massimo maglioneon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature