Our History


Since its founding in 1774, Newark Academy has occupied five different locations, overcome difficult challenges and flourished as a leader in independent school education. During its 250th anniversary year, we invite you to learn more about Newark Academy’s past through the following visual historical timeline.

The Academy is Founded
Newark Academy founded
Newark Academy was founded by a group of civic leaders and Presbyterian minister Alexander Macwhorter. The Academy is unique in enrolling students from a wide range of backgrounds, offering courses in trades and business skills and establishing a division for girls.
Rising from the Ashes
newark academy cornerstone

The cornerstone is laid for the second Newark Academy building at the corner of Broad and Academy Streets in Newark.

On the Move
newark academy 1857

NA moves to its third location at the intersection of High, William and Shipman Streets in Newark. (Eventually, High Street would be renamed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.) Under the direction of the Reverend Frederick A. Adams, NA establishes a full four-year high school curriculum and continues to enroll boys and girls.

Curriculum Catalog
The first modern Newark Academy Catalog was published in 1857, providing a detailed four-year curriculum with courses in English, mathematics, science, history, geography, bookkeeping, “Mental and Moral Sciences,” rhetoric, ancient and modern languages, art, music, and gymnastics and calisthenics (strength training).
The Farrand Era Begins
samuel farrand

Samuel Farrand serves as Headmaster, doing away with the girls’ division and establishing Newark Academy as a boys’ school. Under his leadership, enrollment increases and the Academy’s reputation flourishes.

“For forming the character of a child it is important that his better emotions be continually called into exercise.”–Samuel Farrand, Headmaster, 1859-1865, 1875-1908

Earliest Class Picture
newark academy class of 1882

The Class of 1882 is the earliest class picture in the archives.

The Polymnian
the polymnian

The Polymnian is first published as an independent yearbook.

Fourth Location
newark academy 1929

Newark Academy moves to its fourth and final Newark location along the historic Morris Canal on First Street.

Minute Man Mascot
The Newark Academy “Minute Man” mascot is created by Dean H. Upgrove of the Class of 1916.
Student Newspaper Starts
newark academy newspaper

Students begin a newspaper, The Newark Academy News, later renamed the Minute Man.

Robert M. Butler
robert m butler

Robert M. Butler is named Headmaster.

Move to Livingston
newark academy 1964

Newark Academy sells the First Street property and moves to its 68-acre campus in Livingston.

Honoring our Brave
samuel coursen

Newark Academy dedicates the football and track field in memory of Medal of Honor recipient Samuel S. Coursen ’45, who was killed during the Korean War.

E. Standish Bradford, Jr.
e standish bradford jr

E. Standish Bradford, Jr. is named Headmaster.

Return to Coeducation
Newark Academy returns to its coeducational roots following a unanimous vote by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees to admit girls.

“The attitude and atmosphere prevalent within Newark Academy has taken definite change for the better.” –E. Standish Bradford, Jr., Headmaster, 1967-1977

newark academy bicentennial

President Richard Nixon congratulates Newark Academy for its bicentennial celebration.

Library Completed
richard c hawkes library

The new Richard C. Hawkes Memorial Library (officially dedicated in 1982) is completed.

Allan E. Strand
allan e strand

Allan E. Strand is named Headmaster.

IB Diploma
ib diploma

Newark Academy becomes the first school in New Jersey to offer the International Baccalaureate diploma as part of the curriculum.

Arts Center
elizabeth b mcgraw arts center

The 20,000-square-foot Elizabeth B. McGraw Arts Center opens with new instrumental and choral facilities, classrooms and studios for ceramics, drawing, printmaking, painting and photography. It is also home to the Lautenberg “Black Box” Theater for acting students and the David Teiger ’47 Gallery for Studio Arts at the center of the wing, to showcase student art and the works of artists-in-residence.

First Female Head of School
elizabeth penney riegelman

Elizabeth “Penney” Riegelman is named the first female Head of School.

Field House
simon family field house

The Simon Family Field House is completed, adding 57,000 square feet to the school, featuring a gymnasium, six–lane pool, fitness center, locker rooms, athletics offices and storage space.

At the Helm
donald austin

Donald M. Austin is named the Academy’s 49th Head of School.

“A common spirit and purpose bind the Newark Academy community together, as do the traditions we share.” –Donald M. Austin, Head of School, 2007-present

Immersion Experiences
Immersion Experiences

NA institutes the Immersion Experience requirement and kicks off the program with an inaugural trip to Madrid, Spain.

Upper School Academic Center
upper school academic center

The Petrello Upper School Academic Center is completed, including the addition of Kaltenbacher Hall, an octagonal lecture hall.

Kacur Field
Kacur Field

Renovation and dedication of Kacur Field is completed.

Wilf Middle School
wilf middle school

A new facility for the Wilf Middle School opens.

Coraci Performance Hall
coraci performance hall

The Coraci Performance Hall is completed.

Cetrulo Family Fencing Center
Cetrulo Family Fencing Center

The state-of-the-art fencing center opens

250th Anniversary
newark academy 250th

Newark Academy celebrates its 250th Anniversary!