The Loomis Chaffee School is a college preparatory school for grades 9 through 12 located in historic Windsor, Connecticut, U.S. It has a total enrollment of 720, 400 boarding and 320 day students, and 150 faculty members.
The roots of Loomis Chaffee run as far back as 1639, when Joseph Loomis and his family first settled at the confluence of the Farmington and Connecticut rivers. Several generations later, the inspiration for the school was born out of family tragedy, when, in the early 1870s, four Loomis brothers and their sister had outlived all their children.
As a memorial to their own offspring, and as a gift to future children, they pooled their considerable estates to found a secondary school. The original 1640 Loomis homestead was chosen as the site where their dream would become reality.
James Chaffee Loomis, Hezekiah Bradley Loomis, Osbert Burr Loomis, John Mason Loomis and Abigail Sarah Loomis Hayden broke new educational ground by planning a school that would offer both vocational and college preparatory courses. (Vocational offerings were discontinued during the later development of the school.)
The founders' enlightened and democratic school would have no religious or political admission criteria. And boys and girls would be given as free an education as the endowment would allow.
The Loomis Institute opened its doors in 1914 to 39 boys and five girls. In 1926, their girls’ division broke off to focus more closely on girls’ educational issues and became The Chaffee School.
Both schools continued to expand. The Loomis Institute built several new facilities in 1967, and the two schools reunited in 1970, forming The Loomis Chaffee School. Six years later it began admitting girls as boarders.
The reunification led to a major revision of the curriculum, which combined a demanding basic program with a broad range of electives in art, music, philosophy, religion and other subjects.
The Loomis Chaffee School has enjoyed a period of unprecedented growth since the 1970s. It strengthened its endowment to bolster financial aid and broadened the diversity of the student body. Recently, it opened new dormitories, an enclosed hockey and skating rink, a brand new athletic center, a visual arts center and a new student center. Currently, the Science Center and the Chaffee classroom building are under renovation.
- semi rural campus in historic Windsor, Conn. (settled 1633)
- 5-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio
- 4-to-1 boarding student-to-residential faculty ratio; 10 dormitories with 31 live-in faculty families
- 200 courses (regular, advanced and Advanced Placement) and independent study
- average class size: 14
- 59 girls and boys interscholastic teams in 19 sports; 19 intramural sports offerings
- fully computerized and wired campus: internal and external email and Internet access for all; campus-wide wireless access
- numerous extracurricular organizations and an active community service program
- trimester schedule; classes held on alternate Saturday mornings
- Katharine Brush Library: 60,000 books, access to more than 9,000 periodicals and scholarly journals, 1,500 videos, 2,000 CDs, extensive microfilm collection, 18 public computers, full electronic reference and information services, 22 subscription databases
Finances, tuition and financial aid
- $175 million endowment; $29 million annual operating budget
- $2.55 million in Annual Fund contributions (2006-07) with 62% of current parents participating
- $39,100 boarding tuition; $29,500 day tuition
- $5.3 million in need-based financial aid awarded to 30% of student body
- 725 enrollment (400 boarding, 325 day)
- 50% male, 50% female
- from 5 continents (and Oceania), 19 countries, 29 U.S. states
- 21% students of color; 9% international students
- 73 Advanced Placement Scholars (2006): 1 National Scholar, 20 with Distinction, 22 with Honor
- 10 National Merit finalists; 23 National Merit commended students (2007)
- SAT: The middle 50% of the class of 2005 scored in the 590–690 range (verbal) and 600–710 (math).
- 150 members
- 50% male, 50% female
- 123 advanced degrees (master’s degrees and doctorates)
- 50% of full-time teaching faculty at Loomis Chaffee more than 10 years
Loomis Chaffee offers courses in English, Chinese, French, German, Latin, Spanish, Art, Computer Studies, History and Social Science, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Psychology and Religion, Science, and Theater Arts. Noncredit diploma requirements include Library Skills, Information Technology and Physical Fitness and Health. Advanced Placement courses are offered in English, French, German, Latin, Spanish, Calculus AB and BC, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Science, Physics, Statistics, Studio Art and U.S. History. In 2004, 164 students were administered 310 AP exams, 90% of which were awarded the three highest grades of 3, 4 and 5.
The Richmond Art Center, the Sue and Eugene Mercy, Jr. Gallery and the visiting artist program make the visual arts a school specialty. Core art courses are supplemented by television production and graphic design. Music programs offer both theoretical training and performance experience, including orchestra, chamber music ensembles, concert band, jazz band, jazz improvisation, concert choir and chamber singers. Training in all aspects of theater is supported by curricular offerings in acting, directing, technical theater and playwriting as well as an active yearly production schedule of full-length plays, musicals and one-acts. Additionally, both daytime and after-school dance programs are offered.
All students participate in interscholastic, intramural or daytime athletic programs each trimester. Interscholastic varsity and junior varsity competition for boys and girls is offered on 59 teams in baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, soccer, softball, squash, swimming/diving, tennis, track, volleyball, water polo and wrestling. Freshman-level teams are offered in soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, boys basketball and boys tennis. Facilities include a double gymnasium and two other gymnasia, supporting basketball and volleyball courts; a fitness center and a weight room, totalling ; a 25-meter, six-lane swimming pool; an enclosed hockey rink; a 400-meter, eight-lane, all-weather track; eight international squash courts; 17 tennis courts; a cross-country course; two baseball diamonds; two softball diamonds; 17 fields for football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey; and a golf practice driving range, putting green and sand trap.
Four full-time college counselors guide students through the college search and application process. Eighty-eight percent of the members of the Class of 2005 were admitted to colleges and universities deemed most selective or highly selective by Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges.
- The campus lies at the confluence of the Farmington and Connecticut rivers. The campus is known informally as "The Island": spring rains and melting snow create floodwaters that raise the level of the rivers and flood the lowlands surrounding the campus, sometimes literally cutting the school off from dry land.
- Loomis Chaffee's mascot is the Pelican.
- The school motto is a Latin phrase written by Ovid: "Ne Cede Malis," which means "Do not yield to adversity."
- Loomis is part of an organization known as The Ten Schools Admissions Organization. This organization was founded more than forty years ago on the basis of a number of common goals and traditions. Member schools include Loomis, Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy, The Lawrenceville School, The Taft School, The Hotchkiss School, St. Paul's School, The Hill School, Phillips Exeter Academy, and Phillips Academy Andover.
- Loomis and Kent School have a long-running rivalry. The two schools take this historic enmity quite seriously, and have annual Kent vs. Loomis days. The two schools compete for a bowl and spoon. The spoon goes to the winner of the football game and the bowl goes to the winner of the most athletic contests on that particular day.
- John D. Rockefeller III '25 - industrialist and philanthropist
- Guilford Dudley Jr. ’25 - United States Ambassador to Denmark
- Benjamin Hedges ’26 - Olympic track and field athlete (1928)
- Winthrop Rockefeller ’31 - Governor of Arkansas
- Ella Grasso '36 - former Governor of Connecticut
- George P. Shultz ’38 - former U.S. Secretary of State
- Thomas F. Stroock ’42 - U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala (1989-92)
- Tom Lehrer ’43 - musical satirist, entertainer
- Arthur Ochs Sulzberger ’45 - Chairman and Publisher of The New York Times
- Larry Collins ’47 - author of Is Paris Burning?
- George Selden Thompson '47 - author of The Cricket in Times Square and other children's classics
- Kenneth O. Gilmore ’49 - former Editor-in-Chief, Readers Digest
- John D. Nichols ’49 - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Illinois Tool Works
- Robert Winters ’49 - President and CEO, The Prudential Insurance Company of America
- Robert Davis '51 - Major League Baseball player with the Kansas City Royals
- Myron “Moe” W. Drabowsky ’53 - Major League Baseball player with the Baltimore Orioles (pitcher)
- Daniel N. Wilkes '54 - founder and President of The Wilkes Group Inc. - United States distributor of Evian Mineral Water Spray.
- Joel B. Alvord ’56 - Former Chairman, Fleet Financial Group
- Robert Grant Irving '58 - Author of Indian Summer
- Robert G. Kaiser '60, associate editor, former managing editor, The Washington Post; author, Russia, The People and The Power, and others.
- William Weld '62 - Governor of Massachusetts (1991-1997), United States Ambassador to Mexico
- Henry R. Kravis ’63 - Founding partner, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
- David E. Kaiser '65, professor of history, Naval War College, Newport, R.I., author of American Tragedy, Politics and War: European Conflict from Philip II to Hitler, Epic Season: The 1948 American League Pennant Race, and others.
- Benjamin Cheever ’67 - Author of The Plagiarist, The Partisan, Famous After Death
- Jonathan Carroll ’67 - Author of The Land of Laughs, Voice of Our Shadow, Bones of the Moon, A Child Across the Sky, Black Cocktail, Sleeping in Flame, Outside the Dog Museum, After Silence, From the Teeth of Angels
- John Terry ’68 - Film and television actor, Against the Grain, A Dangerous Woman, Iron Will
- Charles Kaiser ’68 - author of 1968 In America (1988, 1997) and The Gay Metropolis (1997, 1998 and 2007). Former reporter for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and the press critic at Newsweek.
- David Margolick ’70 - Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair; National Legal Affairs Correspondent, The New York Times; author of At the Bar, Undue Influence: The Epic Battle for the Johnson & Johnson Fortune, Strange Fruit: The Biography of a Song, Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling and a World on the Brink
- Thomas D. Ritter ’70 - former Speaker of the House, Connecticut General Assembly
- Dennis J. Cooper ’72 - Film and television producer and writer, Miami Vice, Academy Boyz
- James Widdoes ’72 - Film and television actor, director, and producer: Animal House (actor), Charles in Charge (actor), Night Court (actor), Dave's World (director/actor), My Wife and Kids (director/actor), 8 Simple Rules... For Dating My Teenage Daughter (director/producer), Two and a Half Men (director)
- Stephen Cushman ’73 - Author of Cussing Lesson (poems), Blue Pajamas (poems), and Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle
- Drew Zingg ’73 - Musician, former lead guitarist with Steely Dan
- Corby Kummer ’74 - Senior Editor, The Atlantic Monthly
- Thomas S. Grey ’75 - Professor of Music, Stanford University; author of Wagner's Musical Prose: Texts and Contexts
- Chris Hedges ’75 - Fellow at The Nation Institute; professor at Princeton University; author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning; former Middle East Bureau Chief for The New York Times; former correspondent, National Public Radio; member of team winning 2002 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism; 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism
- Steven Strogatz ’76 - Professor of Applied Mathematics, Cornell University; recipient of Presidential Young Investigator Award; author of SYNC: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order
- Mark Brown ’77 - Major League Baseball pitcher, Baltimore Orioles (1984) and Minnesota Twins (1985)
- David Wild ’80 - Senior Editor, Rolling Stone; host of Musicians (Bravo television)
- Frank Bruni ’82 - Reporter and food critic, The New York Times; author of Ambling into History: The Unlikely Odyssey of George W. Bush
- Karen Cunningham ’83 - Former Chief Financial Officer, United Steel, Inc.
- Matthew M. Murray ’87 - Major League Baseball pitcher, Boston Red Sox (1995)
- Gretchen Ulion ’90 - Olympic gold medalist, U.S. Women's Olympic Hockey Team, Nagano, Japan 1998 (see Ice hockey at the 1998 Winter Olympics and list of athletes on Wheaties boxes)
"History" and "Overview" quoted from www.loomis.org