Suvarna Garge (Editor)

The Gunnery

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Established  1850
Head of School  Peter W.E. Becker
Grades  9–12/PG Year
Founded  1850
CEEB code  070-825
Faculty  55
Phone  +1 860-868-7334
Number of students  298 (2016–2017)
The Gunnery
Type  Private, College prep Day & Boarding
Address  22 Kirby Rd, Washington, CT 06793, USA
Motto  Vir Bonus Semper Discipulus Est
Similar  Canterbury School, Kent School, The Taft School, South Kent School, Westover School

The Gunnery is a private coeducational boarding and day prep school located in rural Connecticut, United States. The 220-acre (0.89 km2) campus borders the village green of Washington, a small, historic town in Litchfield Hills. Gunnery, named after the Gunn family, has no military affiliations and is a non-sectarian school.


The Gunnery was founded in 1850 by Frederick W. Gunn, a teacher, abolitionist, and father of recreational camping in America. It was originally 30 boys on 50 acres. In 1894 The Ridge School was founded as an affiliated junior school for younger boys. The basic mission of The Gunnery is to promote the four cornerstones on which character is built: scholarship, integrity, respect and responsibility.

The Gunnery’s academic curriculum emphasizes the liberal arts; Advanced Placement courses and many electives are offered in all disciplines. Classes average 15 students in size and are taught as seminars.


The Gunnery was founded by Frederick William Gunn and his wife Abigail in 1850. Their school offered a classical education typical of Anglican tradition schools of the time but also emphasized on athletic opportunities, environmental awareness and moral values. In a less inclusive era, the Gunns' school welcomed girls, international students and African American children. The 1920s saw sweeping changes brought to the school. It became an all-boys school, enrollment tripled and new buildings were added. During World War II, the Gunnery prepared boys for entering the armed forces. In 1977, the Gunnery returned to its coeducational roots. For several years prior, the Gunnery had a partnership with the nearby all-girls school Wykeham Rise, which has since closed. The first female head was appointed in 1991.

Academics and Programs

The Scholar Strands are designed to allow for an intensive focus in an area of interest while at the same time insuring exposure to a range of courses that balance out the depth of a given focus. The four strands are as follows: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), Entrepreneurship, Language and Culture, and Humanities.

The Gunnery LEADS Program - Learning for Ethical Engagement, Active Citizenship and Dedicated Service - is a four-year curriculum based on the mission of the school. In concert with their experience in the residential campus environment, students develop the life learning and leadership skills needed to be active and responsible citizens, both locally and globally. Students are encouraged to engage in topics and projects of interest that foster self-awareness and responsibility. The curriculum progresses each year, but has been developed to facilitate integration for students new to the Gunnery, and aims to teach stewardship, character and community engagement.


The Gunnery is a day and boarding school, with 68% (204 boarders, 94 day)of its students residing in one of the ten dormitories on campus. Residential students are looked after by faculty and students designated as Residential Assistants (RA's). In most cases, students are grouped by class. Each dormitory consists primarily of single and double student rooms, but also houses faculty members and their families. 85% of the faculty lives on campus. There are students from 21 different countries and 22 states in the U.S. Countries such as Kenya, Ireland, Hong Kong, Canada, Bahrain, Czech Republic, and Mexico are represented in the student body.

Notable alumni

  • Gerald Warner Brace (1901–1978) was an American writer, educator, sailor and boat builder
  • Edsel Ford II '68 - Member of the board of directors for the Ford Motor Company
  • Jesse Soffer '03 - Actor
  • Dick Wolf '68 - Creator of Law & Order
  • Jonathan Tisch '72 - CEO of Loews Hotels

    Steven Elliot Tisch '68 - Chairman/Executive Vice President New York Giants

    James Perse '91 - Clothing Designer

    Justin Molson '87 - Owner of the Montreal Canadiens

    Sam Posey '62 - American racing driver and sports broadcast journalist

    Andrew Lack '64 - Chairman of NBC News


    The Gunnery Wikipedia