A Century Of Storytelling
THE PEDDIE CHRONICLE THROUGH THE YEARS
The Peddie Chronicle has been published as an alumni magazine since 1921. At just over 100 years old, the magazine is a treasury of storytelling, each issue influenced by distinct historical and cultural influences of its era.
The Chronicle was launched soon after the school’s founding as a student publication, a joint effort of the all-female Kalomathia Society and the all-male Academia Society. Early content combined creative writing, updates on the institute and editorials on various subjects. The magazine was discontinued in 1917 for three years during World War I.
Today, the bi-annual publication reaches 10,000 members of the Peddie community, including alumni, current and former parents and employees.
Journey with us through the decades as we highlight the school and world events covered by the Peddie Chronicle over the last 100 years.
The Chronicle returns as a quarterly magazine for the “purpose of familiarizing the alumni, and others who may be interested, with the active affairs of Peddie.”
“With this issue of The Chronicle, one of the school’s traditional publications is revived. The war period, from which we are now recovering, made necessary the discontinuance of many of our time-honored customs and institutions.”
The Chronicle recognizes the 1929 undefeated football team.
“Ten years from now, when Peddie alumni gather around the fireplace to recall their boyhood, they are still going to talk about the football team of 1929.”
The Chronicle publishes a new hymn, “Peddie To Thee,” written by Peddie parent George S. Parsons P’31 ’33 GP’61, which remains the school’s alma mater.
As Peddie begins its 75th year, the Chronicle invites alumni to support “The Peddie of Tomorrow.” The fundraising campaign includes plans for a new gymnasium to accommodate the school’s increasing enrollment.
To aid in WWII national defense efforts, Peddie conducts air-raid drills and offers new courses in first aid, motor corps fundamentals, aviation, map reading and making, and radio communications. Students and Hightstown residents take turns as airplane spotters atop Memorial Hall.
“Upon the declaration of war, Dr. Wilbour E. Saunders, headmaster, immediately communicated with the naval and military authorities to find out how Peddie could best serve in this time of crisis. He was assured that the outstanding job for the preparatory schoolboy was to keep at his own work and to continue his preparation for college.”
—Hiester R. Hornberger, chairman of the faculty committee for defense coordination
Peddie cancels athletic competitions, including the Peddie-Blair football game, after a student is struck with polio. No other cases are reported, and the student survives.
Dr. Saunders reports that school life is returning to normal with the war’s end. Pfc. Robert Stackhouse, USMCR ’43, the only known Peddie alumnus to be present at the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri, gives an eyewitness account in the Chronicle.
“Just as the General [MacArthur] had finished and closed the proceedings, a mighty armada of Allied planes approached and passed directly over our ship. Except for the sound of the Boatswain’s pipe, there was silence throughout the ship as the Japanese left.”
—Pfc. Robert Stackhouse, USMCR ’43
Dr. Carol O. Morong becomes Peddie’s 11th head of school.
Ayer Memorial Chapel is dedicated to Peddie’s 63 Gold Star Boys and 1,891 veterans of World War II.
Peddie sees record enrollment (364) at the start of the school’s 88th year.
The Chronicle reports on the 50th anniversary of the Peddie-Blair football rivalry.
The Chronicle reports on a visit by a then-little-known Baptist preacher, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who speaks at a “special school assembly.”
The Walter H. Annenberg Library dedication takes place on Fall Homecoming Day, weeks after the Soviet Union launches Sputnik.
“In this autumn of international concern over the progress of Soviet education, particularly in the field of science, and in this National Education Week which has seen the president speak out on the topic of education and the great metropolitan daily newspapers carry editorials expressing concern over our educational system, it is very fitting that Peddie is dedicating a new center of learning for her students and faculty.”
—Social Studies Chair Dr.William H. Mariboe
Amid the 1961 Freedom Rides, Headmaster Morong calls desegregation “America’s number one problem of the hour.”
“Time has long since passed when we can present one face to the outside world pretending to respect all individuals and to embrace a democracy in which all men are created equal and simultaneously close off privileges to some because of their race or color. At the present moment, the race question is far more explosive and dangerous to America than the hydrogen bomb.”
—Headmaster Carol O. Morong
While Headmaster Morong recovers from a heart attack, Assistant Headmaster Dr. William H. Mariboe addresses the school during a memorial service for President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
“Today, Monday, November 15th, 1963, we are all Democrats, we are all Republicans, we are all Americans as we join in paying homage to the gallant young President struck down by an assassin’s bullet last Friday.”
—Dr. William H. Mariboe
As the school celebrates its centennial year, Albert L. Kerr is named Peddie’s 12th headmaster.
Carl E. Geiger publishes what would become the book of record on Peddie's first hundred years, "The Peddie School's First Century."
Peddie receives a $700,000 gift from Walter H. Annenberg ’27, then the largest gift in the school’s history, to build the first new dorm on campus (The Masters House) since 1928.
The Peddie Chronicle debuts its first four-color cover.
Peddie announces Walter H. Annenberg’s ’27 $2 Million Challenge Gift. Headmaster Albert L. Kerr calls it “the most exciting news in Peddie’s history.”
Peddie debuts its first campus computer, a gift of Mr. Bernard Goldsmith P’62.
In June, the Peddie board of corporators votes to admit girls to Peddie as day students for the upcoming school year.
“The decision to accept girls again at Peddie was made on the basis that their presence would strengthen the total educational quality of Peddie as well as providing a more natural atmosphere in the classroom.”
—Headmaster Albert L. Kerr
A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony is held for Peddie’s new athletic center.
The Chronicle debuts an illustration cover by Juliette Watts ’75.
“The Chronicle Staff, in order to demonstrate to its readers the surge of interest in the fine arts program, has turned to students for its new face. This cover is the result of a competition among the students.”
F. Edward Potter, Jr. becomes Peddie’s 13th headmaster.
Former President Gerald Ford speaks at Commencement.
“Mr. Ford arrived on the school’s campus at 2:24 to tumultuous applause from a crowd of over 200 which had gathered to get a glimpse of a former president.”
After pledging $12 million for “The Campaign for Peddie,” at the time the largest single contribution from an individual to a pre-collegiate school, Walter H. Annenberg ’27 is recognized at a special Baccalaureate service. Guests include former President Gerald Ford.
Following the sudden death of Headmaster F. Edward Potter, English Department Chair Anne L. Seltzer becomes the first female head of school. She serves one year as interim head of school.
Thomas A. DeGray is installed as Peddie’s 14th head of school.
Renowned movie and television producer and director Howard W. Koch ’33 receives the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy Awards. Before a standing ovation and viewers numbering in the millions worldwide, Koch, clutching his Oscar, waves a hearty “Steady Old Peddie” as he leaves the stage.
The 1990 boys’ and girls’ swim teams win the National Championships. The girls’ swim team is described as “the best swim team in the history of Peddie.”
Walter H. Annenberg ’27 makes an incredible $100 million gift to his alma mater — at the time, the largest gift ever made to a secondary school.
“Since his arrival at Peddie in 1922, it has been Ambassador Annenberg’s dream to see Peddie at the forefront of secondary education in America. With this gift, he provides Peddie with both the opportunity and the responsibility to assume the role of leadership.”
—Headmaster Thomas A. DeGray, in his Chronicle letter
Larry Kelley ’33 donates his Heisman Trophy to Peddie during Blair Day festivities on November 13, 1993.
Peddie launches a school website.
Peddie launches its $18 million “The Next Step” capital campaign at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in front of what is described by Headmaster DeGray as “the largest crowd in school history.”
Peddie names its first female athletic director, Susan Cabot.
Former football star Ian H. Graham ’50 donates $1.5 million for Peddie’s new athletic center.
Peddie issues laptops to all of its students.
“We think we are the only secondary school in the country that includes a full-feathered laptop as part of the tuition.”
—Tim Corica, director of academic technology
John F. Green becomes the 15th head of school. Green has little time to adjust when the terrorist attacks of 9/11 occur on the second day of classes under his leadership.
B.J. Bedford ’90 becomes the first Peddie alumna to win an Olympic gold medal (2000 Sydney, swimming).
During Reunion Weekend, Michael Armellino ’57 receives the inaugural Thomas B. Peddie Award, the school’s highest honor, recognizing his dedication and generosity to his alma mater.
Peddie’s new state-of-the-art aquatic center, the sparkling centerpiece in the Ian H. Graham ’50 Athletic Center renovation, opens in January to rave reviews and a large crowd that saw Falcon swimmers defeat rival Germantown Academy.
Jeffrey “Harry” Holcombe, the longest-serving teacher in Peddie’s history, announces his retirement.
Peter A. Quinn becomes Peddie’s 16th head of school.
The Peddie Chronicle celebrates the school's sesquicentennial with "150 Faces of Peddie."
Elizabeth S. Silverman P’03 ’10 becomes the first woman in the school’s history to serve as the chair of the Peddie Board of Trustees.
The Chronicle wins gold in the CASE Circle of Excellence Awards.
Anne L. Seltzer receives the Thomas B. Peddie award, the school’s highest honor.
Oliver Crane ’17 becomes the youngest person in history to row solo across the Atlantic.
Peddie grapples with a global COVID-19 pandemic.
As the global pandemic normalizes, more than 80% of students return to campus for spring term. Faculty reflect on how COVID-19 is impacting their classrooms.