Mockup of Fall/Winter 2022 Peddie Chronicle Cover

From the Peddie Chronicle.

Back to the '90s

Pop culture trends and events from the best decade (Like, EVER!)

Photo collage of 90's pop-culture icons and Peddie campus moments

Opening collage by Max-O-Matic

Peddie swimming ruled, students signed on to the information superhighway and Walter Annenberg ’27 transformed the school with a historic $100M gift. In national news, the O.J. Simpson trial had us glued to our TV sets, and Y2K predictions had us on the edge of our seats. There was Seinfeld and Beverly Hills 90210. Madonna. Nirvana. And Titanic, Forrest Gump and Reality Bites. 

Here we feature the pop culture trends and significant events – on campus and worldwide – from the best decade (Like, EVER!). Plus, dozens of former alumni who attended Peddie during this era share their favorite memories. 

So throw on a flannel, put on a rerun of Friends and get ready to read about all things ’90s. Whatever!

Collage of Peddie students at prom with the headline The 411

Due to space constraints, it was impossible to include all headlines and outstanding accomplishments.



“This year, we begin a new decade, and at the opening of school, I challenged the community to be a generation of moral and concerned people and to leave behind us a decade in which too often the world seemed characterized by greed, arrogance and self-indulgence.”

Headmaster Thomas A. DeGray
Peddie Chronicle (November 1990)



Around Campus




Photo of handmade sign on Peddie front gates reading, "Wow! Thanks, Walt."

On Father’s Day 1993, Walter H. Annenberg ’27 gave $100 million to Peddie as an endowed fund designed to expand financial aid, institute innovative programs and recruit exceptional faculty. It was the largest cash gift ever given to an independent school, bringing instant fame to Peddie. Overnight, the school’s endowment catapulted. Applications soared. Students who previously had never considered Peddie because of financial circumstances were given an opportunity to receive a world-class education.

When I think of the ’90s at Peddie, I think of ...

Photo montage of Peddie students and slices of Domino's pizza

The winter storm of ’96 when we were stuck on campus, but were still able to order Domino’s.
– Kevin Shane ’99

’90s-style portrait of Colin Powell

Colin Powell's chapel speech.
— Amir Ingram ’98

Photo montage of two Peddie students and a Hacky Sack

Center Campus beautiful spring days. Music, Hacky Sack, frisbee, socializing.
– Tim Starkey ’96

Photo of a yellow ’90s Sony Walkman portable radio and cassette player

Listening to cassette tapes.
– Napper Tandy ’95

Photo montage of a falcon call

T's Falcon Call.
– Tracey Wetmore ’97

Photo montage of Princess Diana and OJ Simpson

Sitting in the senior lounge watching the O.J. verdict come in.
– Gwyneth Connell ’96

Photo of a fanny pack

The senior sleepout on the football field. That trend could come back stronger than fanny packs!
– Erin Avery ’93

’90s MTV Logo

Everyone packing into the senior lounge to watch MTV debut videos.
– Richard Simmons ’95

Photo of handmade sign on Peddie front gates reading, %22Wow! Thanks, Walt.%22

Ambassador Annenberg’s gift.
– Stephanie Valdez ’95



“By now, you all have seen or heard of Ambassador Annenberg’s incredible gift of $100 million to his alma mater. Never before in the history of independent school education has there been a gift to rival this one.”

Peddie Chronicle (July 1993)



’90s Pop Culture

Photo montage of '90s pop-culture icons Jennifer Aniston and Luke Perry

Must See TV

Before there was Netflix and Hulu, the ’90s brought us TGIF and Must See TV. Here are the shows alumni remember the most. 

What TV show was Must See TV?

Beverly Hills 90210



My So-Called Life

Saved by the Bell

Photo montage of a mixtape and Red Hot Chili Peppers


Rolling Stone magazine called the ’90s a "decade of music explosion." With a wide variety of genres dominating the charts — grunge, hip-hop, pop, electronica and more — this era in music had something for everyone.

Photo collage of 90s music stars including Kurt Cobain, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Madonna


The Totally ’90s Peddie Mixtape (based on your votes)

“Vogue” Madonna (1990)
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” Nirvana (1991)
“Under the Bridge” Red Hot Chili Peppers (1992)
“I Will Always Love You” Whitney Houston (1993)
“Waterfalls” TLC (1994)
“You Oughta Know” Alanis Morissette (1995)
“Killing Me Softly” The Fugees (1996)
“Mo Money Mo Problems” Notorious B.I.G. With Mase and Puff Daddy (Tie 1997)
“Bitter Sweet Symphony” The Verve (Tie 1997)
“Doo Wop (That Thing!)” Lauryn Hill (1998)
“No Scrubs” TLC (1999)

Photo collage of John Travolta from Pulp Fiction with VHS tapes


The ’90s saw the rise of independent cinema (Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting), animation (The Lion King, Toy Story), disaster blockbusters (Titanic, Independence Day) and satirized slashers (Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer). We asked Peddie alumni to recall their faves.

You can only record one of these hit films from the ’90s on a VHS tape: 

Pulp Fiction


Dazed and Confused

Pretty Woman

Boyz N The Hood

Silence of the Lambs



“Years from now, when your kids find this in a dusty box in the attic, you’ll get the opportunity to tell them what made ‘Pretty Woman’ so great, the line, ‘Excuse me, are those Bugle Boy jeans you’re wearing?’ so popular, and the tune ‘Ice Ice Baby’ so hot. Or will you have forgotten by then?”

Excerpt from 1992 Old Gold and Blue



’90s Fashion

It's 1990-something. What are you wearing today?

Fashion with ’90s style bright color graphics

Oversized clothing and flannels dominated campus fashion. As did athletic shorts, Polo shirts and scrunchies (and fanny packs, but we won’t tell).

The fashion trends I most remember seeing on the Peddie campus are:

1. Preppy (think Ralph Lauren Polo, Hilfiger or Abercrombie)

2. Grunge look

3. Plaid anything

Photo of Dr. Martens boots and

Always a scrunchie in my hair.
– Wendy McTammany ’91

Doc Martens, baggy cords and a boxy wool crewneck sweater from J. Crew.
– Sarah Zoll ’98

Photo of a turtleneck shirt, Birkenstock sandals and wool socks

Birkenstocks with wool socks, cut-off jean shorts, a too-big flannel shirt and Peddie hockey hat on backward.
– Laura-Lee Hensle Radtke ’92

Overalls, turtleneck and black patent shoes with ribbons as the laces.
– Ndiya Nkongho ’95

Photo of plaid shirt and XL graphic

A very oversized plaid flannel shirt. The pants don't matter because you can barely see them.
– Alissa MacMillan ’91

– Katie Whalen ’97

Photo of cargo pants with colorful 90s graphics

Cargo pants and t-shirt.
– Ian Perry ’98

Umbro soccer shorts, t-shirt, Wigwam socks.
– Michael Kovacs ’93



Have a ’90s Peddie memory you'd like to share?

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