Incorporated in 1969 in the belief that “the basic purpose of education is to help the learner to learn, and that the method of this education is more important than the content,” The Salisbury School opened its doors at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in the fall of 1970. Since then, the school proudly boasts 50 years of educational excellence and a continued legacy of graduating caring, confident students who are prepared to thrive as global citizens.
After two years in rented space, the school built its own building in 1972 on 18.5 acres on Hobbs Road. Designed by the award-winning Hardy, Holzman and Pfeiffer Associates of New York, the building layout was conceived with experiential learning as its guide. Fifty years of TSS lower school students share fond memories of entering through the famous student-inspired tunnel directly into the library, the well-loved heart of the building.
Growing each year as classes advanced, the school served students up to 8th grade until committed parents and administration decided to expand the school to include an upper school in 1996. The unique domed building, also designed by Hardy, Holzman and Pfeiffer, celebrated its first 12th-grade graduating class in the spring of 2001.
In 2005, middle school students got their own architecturally significant home designed by local firm Becker Morgan Group. These three buildings, with their open-plan designs, multi-use flexible gathering spaces, and ample natural light reflect the school’s belief that education is a dynamic relationship of shared responsibility between the students and teachers.
The Salisbury School’s founding experiential learning philosophy, refined and expanded over 50 years, continues to play out today in a broad and deep exploration of core curriculum complemented by a commitment to the arts, physical health, and personal development. Important traditions such as the morning handshake at the tunnel door, Global Awareness Day, Give and Receive Day, and All-School Read Day have served to keep TSS students grounded and open their eyes to the wider world.
Today, with more than 600 alumni around the globe and numerous academic, artistic and athletic accolades to its credit, the words of Salisbury School founding headmaster Eugene Munnelly have never been more relevant, “The future of our school lies primarily in its own hand and in the hand of those who nurture it. Our effectiveness is not marked by age, size, nor wealth, but by the more fragile human qualities of imagination, creativity, integrity, enthusiasm, and hard work.”
The school will celebrate its 50th+1 year anniversary on the weekend of May 21, 2022.