Loomis Chaffee

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.


The school

  • 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

The students

  • 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).

The faculty

  • 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.

College guidance

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.

Other information

  • 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.

Distinguished alumni


"History" and "Overview" quoted from

External links

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