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The Hotchkiss School

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The Hotchkiss School

The Hotchkiss School
File:Hotchkiss School Seal.png
Moniti Meliora Sequamur
After instruction, let us move on to pursue higher things.
Lakeville, Connecticut, United States
Type Independent, Boarding
Established 1891
Head of school Kevin Hicks
Faculty 151,[1] 113.8 (on FTE basis)[2]
Enrollment 599 (as of 2011–12).[1]
Average class size 12 students
Student to teacher ratio 4:1[1]
Campus Rural, 810 acres (3 km2)
Color(s) Yale Blue and White
Athletics 19 interscholastic sports
Mascot Bucky the Bearcat
Average SAT scores 2013  (2005)
Endowment $430 million[3]

The Hotchkiss School is an independent, coeducational American college preparatory boarding school located in Lakeville, Connecticut. Founded in 1891, the school enrolls students in grades 9 through 12 and a small number of postgraduates. Students at Hotchkiss come from across the United States and 37 foreign countries.[1]

Hotchkiss is a member of the Eight Schools Association, the Ten Schools Admissions Organization, and a member of the G20 Schools group. In 2010 Hotchkiss joined in a partnership with The Affiliated High School of Peking University to form the basis of the International Division of Peking University High School.[4]

As of the 2005–06 school year, the school had an enrollment of 595 students and 151 classroom teachers, for a student–teacher ratio of 4:1.[1] Hotchkiss has one of the largest secondary school financial endowments in the country, and extremely competitive admissions, with a 17% acceptance rate in the fall of 2013.[5]


The current Head of School is Dr.Kevin Hicks

Campus and facilities

Arts facilities

2005 saw the completion of Hotchkiss' Esther Eastman Music Center. Elfers Hall seats 715 people. The school has equipped the hall with a handmade Fazioli F308 piano, 12 Steinway pianos, 12 practice rooms, 39 guitars, 3 ensemble practice rooms, the WKIS radio station, and a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) lab.[9]

Athletic facilities

Indoor facilities
  • Field House – multi-purpose playing surfaces with an elevated indoor exercise track
  • Ice Hockey Rinks (two) – Dwyer Rink (Olympic), Schmidt Rink (NHL)
  • Natatorium – 10-lane pool with a separate diving well
  • Fowle Gymnasium (hardwood basketball court)
  • Wrestling/Multi-Purpose Room
  • Squash Courts (eight)
  • Ford Indoor Tennis Courts (three)
  • Chandler Fitness Center
  • Boat House (sailing)
  • Training Rooms
  • Locker Rooms and Shower Facilities
Outdoor facilities
  • Nine-hole golf course (designed by Seth Raynor)
  • All-weather track
  • Outdoor tennis courts (twenty)
  • Paddle tennis courts (two)
  • Field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, and softball fields
  • Climbing walls
  • Football stadium
  • Baseball stadium
  • Lake Wononscopomuc (sailing)
  • Three ponds and extensive hiking trails on a 810-acre (3.3 km2) wooded campus

The athletic complex contains a 35-meter ten-lane pool, indoor jogging track, eight squash courts, two ice hockey rinks, a fitness center/weight room, two basketball courts, a wrestling room, three indoor tennis courts, and two paddle tennis courts.[10]

Boarding and general facilities

Hotchkiss has twelve dormitories on campus, six for boys (Tinker, Edelman, Coy, Dana, Watson, and Wieler) and six for girls (Bissell, Buehler, Flinn, Memorial, Garland, and Van Santvoord). Rooms vary in size, from singles to the occasional triple.[11]


Hotchkiss currently fields 17 interscholastic sports teams. The school is a member of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council and the Interscholastic Sailing Association.[12] The athletic directors of Hotchkiss and the other members of the Eight Schools Association compose the Eight Schools Athletic Council, which organizes sports events and tournaments among ESA schools.[13] Historically strong athletic programs include the girls' field hockey team, the girls' volleyball team, the girls' tennis team, the boys' ice hockey team, the boys' lacrosse team, the boys' track and field team, and the co-ed sailing team. Hotchkiss's field hockey team has won thirteen New England championships, including ten consecutively from 2002–2011. In 2010, the team defeated Phillips Academy Andover 1–0 in overtime in the semifinals, and defeated Greenwich Academy in strokes in the finals.[14] Hotchkiss's volleyball has won seven New England Championships including the 2007 New England Volleyball Championships.[15] The boys' track and field team was undefeated in regular season meets from 2005 to 2009. During this five year span, they placed in the top three at Founder's and NEPSTA Championships each year and won both titles in 2007[16] and in 2009.[17] In the 2008 fall athletic season, Hotchkiss became the first school to win four New England Championships in one fall season. The four championships were a seventh straight in field hockey, a second straight in volleyball, a first in soccer, and a second in football. :)


Hotchkiss students run a number of clubs,[18] including The Record, a biweekly, student-run newspaper that delivers to the school as well as alumni through print copy and an iOS app; the Human Rights Initiative; WKIS Radio Station; BaHSA, the Black and Hispanic Student Alliance; the Gay/Straight Alliance; HotchkissTV; Hotchkiss Dramatic Association; Junior Bearcats; Asian Society; The Whipping Post (Hotchkiss's satire publication, which transitioned from print to online articles in 2012); the Writing Block (a creative writing publication); the Chinese Club; Hotchkiss Democrats; Hotchkiss Republicans; Investment Club; WAHED (Hotchkiss–Afghanistan Initiative); Economics Club; Hotchkiss Libertarians; the Hotchkiss Political Union; Club Backgammon; Blue Notes (male a cappella); Chess Club; Science Olympiad; Hotchkiss Lookbook (Student-run Fashion and Arts blog/publication); Songs For Smiles; SEA (Students for Environment Awareness); the yearbook (called the Mischianza); Read to Grow; App Club; and INKredible (Hotchkiss Arts/Literary Magazine). Clubs are student-run, though most have faculty advisors, and many of them receive a budget from the school to provide for their various needs.

Round Square

Hotchkiss is one of four U.S. schools in Round Square, a global conference of more than 50 secondary schools. Students have the option to go on an exchange for a semester to another participating school, or they may meet other Round Square students while working together on a project in an area of need. Hotchkiss has recently hosted students from Australia, Germany, Peru, South Africa, and India.

Notable alumni

Hotchkiss alumni have achieved prominence in a number of fields, and the school has produced many captains of industry. Distinguished alumni include:

Professional athlete alumni include National Hockey League players Matt Herr, now retired, and Torrey Mitchell, currently playing for the Minnesota Wild. Ducky Pond, the last Yale alumnus to be head football coach at Yale University, was a Hotchkiss alumnus. Hotchkiss also has a strong literary tradition; alumni authors include Pulitzer Prize winner and Poet Laureate Archibald MacLeish and Pulitzer Prize Winner John Hersey.

Hotchkiss in popular culture

  • The school is mentioned several times in F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise and in his short story Six of One.[19]
  • In the book Primary Colors by Joe Klein, later turned into a film, the principal character, Henry Burton, was educated at Hotchkiss, and is frequently referred to as "Hotchkiss".[20]
  • In Jeffrey Archer's novel Sons of Fortune, protagonist Fletcher Davenport is a Hotchkiss alumnus.[21]
  • Hotchkiss is mentioned in Elizabeth Wurtzel's 1994 book Prozac Nation.
  • One of the brothers who are the focus of "The Madonna of the Turkey Season," is, in the course of the dialogue, forcefully pointed out to have attended Hotchkiss.
  • For the school's centenary, Ernest Kolowrat was commissioned to write Hotchkiss: A Chronicle of an American School (ISBN 1-56131-058-1).[22]
  • The Hotchkiss School: A Portrait was published by the school in 1966 (Wertenbaker & Basserman, p. 113).[23]
  • Prominent alumnus, Librarian of Congress, and poet Archibald MacLeish refers to Hotchkiss in a 1982 interview in American Heritage magazine. He mentioned not liking his time at the school.[24]
  • Barney Penniman plans to go to Hotchkiss in the young-adult fiction book Through the Hidden Door.[25]
  • Glen Bishop from the AMC series Mad Men attends Hotchkiss. In the season 5 episode "Commissions and Fees," Glen sneaks off campus to visit Sally Draper in New York City.


External links

  • History of Hotchkiss
  • Boarding School Review
  • Hotchkiss' endowment

Coordinates: 41°56′32″N 73°26′25″W / 41.9422°N 73.4402°W / 41.9422; -73.4402

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