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There are few places around which a man’s thoughts more willingly linger than around the joyous scenes and pleasant surroundings of his old school, and few periods in his life afford such delightful recollections as the time when he was a schoolboy.

Every true alumnus of EHS can recall certain associations which endear the old school to him and on which he delights to think during moments of silent meditation. Every old boy must cherish recollections of some particular spot which for some reason or another is consecrated in his thoughts.

To some the athletic field may be his spot. Here for the first time he may have felt the “sweet seducing charms” of the applause which came to him from his schoolmates and made his young heart thrill with pride.

To another it may be the society hall in which his maiden speech was spoken, or the platform in the old school-room where he was presented with his first medal, while a pair of blue eyes down in the audience looked on admiringly.

Still another may treasure recollections of an old weather-beaten stump out in the woods where he used to sit and moan over the trials and sorrows which every boy experiences when he first goes off to school.

There is no place among all the haunts of his school days that is more suggestive than that where night after night he lay down to rest. Here vast plans for the future were formed, brilliant air castles were built, and fond ambitions were nurtured and cherished.  Here, too, he brooded over his sorrows, his injuries, his failures, and his disappointments.

Can a man resist looking back with fondness on such a place?

Excerpt from “A Few Reminiscences,” written by an EHS student and

included in the 1894-95 EHS Yearbook.

 

This evening’s celebration of 175 years of Episcopal High School includes a video produced by Luke David ’93 and Victor Maddux ’93. The video features a reading of this excerpt by Perry Epes ’65, Chris Giblin ’86, Sarah Akridge Knutson ’96, and Brooke Webb ’16.

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One-hundred-and-seventy-five years ago in 1839, Episcopal opened its 80-acre campus just west of the colonial port of Alexandria, Va., to 35 eager young men. Since then, the School has not only survived but flourished in the face of 175 years of historic obstacles: the Civil War, two world wars, the Great Depression, and sweeping social movements, to name only a few. Throughout our history we have steadfastly maintained clarity of purpose, preparing young people to become discerning individuals with the intellectual and moral courage to lead principled lives of leadership and service to others.

Just one year after its opening, Episcopal's student body tripled in size to accommodate more than 100 boys, and continued to grow until the Civil War. Immediately following the Federal occupation of Alexandria in 1861, the School was closed. Some 500 students served as soldiers in the war. For the next five years, the EHS buildings were part of a large hospital for Federal troops.

The School reopened in 1866. Under the direction of Launcelot Minor Blackford (Principal, 1870-1913), the School initiated a modern academic curriculum and pioneered interscholastic team sports in the South, including football, baseball, and track. Recognizing the need to improve its facilities, the School also undertook an aggressive building program that formed the foundation for the present-day campus.

During the same time, Episcopal instituted its Honor Code, one of the oldest among secondary schools. A committee of students and faculty members promotes understanding of the code and handles violations. The Honor Code has served as a foundation of the EHS community since its inception.    

In 1991, Episcopal began a transition to coeducation by enrolling its first 48 girls. In 1993, the first coeducational class graduated. Today, the School has an enrollment of 435 students, 50 percent of whom are girls.

Episcopal has many accomplished alumni among its ranks, including Rhodes Scholars, Pulitzer Prize winners, Wall Street financiers, college presidents, actors, musicians, clergymen, and statesmen, including congressmen, governors, and ambassadors.

Contact the EHS Archivist with questions or information about historical donations.

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The Episcopal High School Archives serves as the final and central repository for the historical records of the School.  The Archives appraises, preserves, and makes accessible the primary source materials, which document the School’s history from its 1839 founding to the present.

The collection includes early academic medals, diaries, scrapbooks, architectural drawings, scorebooks, glass plate negatives, student correspondence, ledger books, and meeting minutes. 

Episcopal High School’s holdings are arranged in the following record groups:

  • Headmasters’ Files
  • Board of Trustees
  • Official Publications
  • Development Office
  • Admissions Office
  • Academics
  • Student Life
  • Student Publications
  • Athletic Department
  • Arts
  • Physical Plant
  • Photographic Collection
  • Audio-Visual Materials
  • Archeological

Contact the EHS Archivist regarding research requests or artifact donations.