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Trinity-Pawling School

Trinity-Pawling School
Trinity-Pawling School Crest.jpg
Pawling, New York
United States
TypeAll-boys, boarding, secondary school
MottoFides et Virtus
(Faith and Virtue)
HeadmasterWilliam W. Taylor
Grades8-12, and post-graduate; middle school available for day students
Enrollment300 students, 75% boarders, 25% day students
Color(s)Blue and gold
Athletics13 intercollegiate sports with 34 teams
Athletics conferenceFounders' League
MascotThe Pride (Lion)
Religious AffiliationEpiscopalian[1]

Trinity-Pawling School, founded in 1907, is an independent college preparatory boarding school for boys from eighth grade through postgraduate year. The 230 acre campus is situated in Pawling, New York, a small hamlet in southern Dutchess County. It is located 60 miles north of New York City.


Trinity-Pawling School was founded in 1907 by Dr. Frederick Luther Gamage, who had previously been headmaster of St. Paul's School (Garden City, New York). The first school building was Dutcher House, a building which had previously had functioned as a hotel. Shortly after, George Bywater Cluett, who had previously donated money to Dr. Gamage for a gymnasium at St. Paul's, provided a larger grant for a new flagship building for the school that was then known as The Pawling School.

In 1910, it moved to its current location on Route 22, in a new building designed by New York City architect Grosvenor Atterbury – a building named Cluett Hall. The Pawling School was renamed Trinity-Pawling School in 1947.[2]

One of Trinity-Pawling's first students was William Bradford Turner, a descendant of the first Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor William Bradford. Turner was killed in action in World War One, and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.[3]

A Trinity-Pawling Education

  • The goal of a Trinity-Pawling education is to unlock the potential for greatness that exists in each boy.
  • The School pursues this goal through a vigorous learning environment that emphasizes 21st century skills such as innovation, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking.
  • A commitment to project-based and experiential learning acknowledges the research that has identified learning paradigms that prove to be successful for boys.
  • A camaraderie of "brotherhood" is enhanced by the mutuality of a family of educators and students who are dedicated to building a culture of excellence and honor.
  • The Trinity-Pawling learning experience combines a timeless commitment to character with a dedication to prepare young men for an ever-changing world.

The Practicum for Civic Leadership

At Trinity-Pawling, the Practicum for Civic Leadership allows students to learn how to think using a multi-disciplined approach to address a problem. The Practicum is broken down into 3 parts: the Senior Independent Project, the Winter Project, and the Global Collaborative Challenge. Each of these encourage students to work collaboratively to understand an issue, learn how to give an oral presentation both as part of a group and as an individual, and understand how to ask the right questions when confronted with a challenge are critical 21st century skills.

Senior Independent Project

During the spring term, rising seniors select a Senior Independent Project topic. Over the summer and throughout the fall term, each senior works on an independent project whereby he is linked with a faculty member and an alumnus or friend of the school. With guidance from both the assigned faculty member and mentor, each senior explores a specific topic in great detail. This part of the Practicum consists of an oral presentation, as well as a final presentation to the entire school using an alternative medium such as a chapel talk, newspaper article, T-P Ted talk, etc. Part of the exercise is figuring out how to share the findings with the school community.

Winter Projects

In the winter term, all non-juniors select from a broad range of interdisciplinary course offerings and pair up with two teachers (one from each discipline) on a project that requires using the tools from both disciplines. Students are also encouraged to design their own projects to fit their interests.

Global Collaborative Challenge

In the winter term, in lieu of a Winter Project, the entire junior class works on multiple global issues. The students are placed into random groups of five, and each group selects a global topic. They then present a solution to the topic in a 12-minute collaborative presentation to a group of faculty. After the presentation, the group must defend its position. The group is graded on its ability to address the enormity of the global topic, the depth of research, the quality of the presentation, the collaborative nature of the presentation and the group’s defense of its presentation.

The Effort System

One of the School`s most distinctive attributes is its signatory Effort System, which began 45 years ago. Each boy at Trinity-Pawling is recognized and assessed in terms of the effort he devotes to a given endeavor: academics, athletics, dormitory responsibilities, civic engagement, attendance, and extracurricular programs. The learning objective inherent in this ethos of effort is to teach young people that the more they invest of themselves, the greater their accomplishments will be. The Effort System, then, becomes a pervasive characteristic of a boy`s experience at Trinity-Pawling. Every six weeks, each student receives new effort grades. The faculty considers all aspects of each student's work: academics, dorm life, athletics, extracurricular involvement, campus service, and more. Students are then placed in Group 1 (highest) through Group 5 (lowest), depending on the commitment shown by a student to his peers, teachers, coaches, and most importantly, to himself.[4]

Portrait of a Trinity-Pawling Graduate

  • A Trinity-Pawling graduate will be an effective communicator.
  • A Trinity-Pawling graduate will be a thoughtful collaborator.
  • A Trinity-Pawling graduate will know what it means to be an ethical citizen of the School and the world.
  • A Trinity-Pawling graduate will be a creative and critical thinker.
  • A Trinity-Pawling graduate will be a self-aware young man.

Courses Offered: AP and Honors

Advanced Placement Classes (20): Biology, Calculus (AB/ BC), English Literature & Composition, English Language & Composition, Chemistry, Computer Science A, Computer Science Principles, Economics (Micro/Macro), Environmental Science, European History, Music Theory, Physics (1, C: M , C: E/M), Statistics and U.S. History Honors Classes (36): Advanced Art 1, Advanced Art 2, Advance Art 3, Advanced Pre-calculus, Advanced Spanish, Advanced Spanish Literature, Advanced Spanish Language, Algebra 2, American Experience History, American Experience Literature, Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Chinese 3, 4 and 5, Creation Modern World, English 1, English 2, French 3, 4 and 5, Geometry, Latin 3, 4 and 5, Latin Language and Literature 1 and 2, Modern World, Multi-Variable Calculus, Physics First, Spanish 2, 3, 4, 5 and Spanish Language & Culture.

The Trinity-Pawling Community

With 90% of faculty living on campus, students learn and grow in a close-knit community of faculty, staff, and students. Students are guided by teachers who are also their coaches and dorm parents, establishing strong faculty-student collaboration and providing for 24/7 learning.


The school has 13 varsity sports which compete against Founder's League and non-league foes. The Founder's League comprises T-P, Kent, Taft, Avon, Hotchkiss, Choate, Kingswood-Oxford, Loomis Chaffee, and Westminster. Girls' schools in the league are Ethel Walker and Miss Porter's.[5]

In the fall, the boys compete in football, soccer and cross country. In the winter, the school offers wrestling, squash, skiing, hockey, and basketball. In the spring teams compete in track and field, baseball, tennis, golf, and lacrosse. There are lower teams for all of these sports, which routinely send players up to the varsity level.

Facilities include the Smith Field House and a new turf field lined for soccer, football, and lacrosse. The field house was named for former headmasters Archibald Smith and Phillips Smith. The field was dedicated to long-time football coach, Associate Headmaster, and Director of Studies David N. Coratti, in the fall of 2013. Additionally, nine new tennis courts were completed in 2013. Tirrell Rink was renovated in 2010. Facility updates and additions were provided by the generosity of Trinity-Pawling alumni.

The School offers six soccer fields, a newly-refurbished basketball court (Hubbard Court), a newly refurbished weight room, and a new cardio room. The Rock Squash Courts opened in 1999, and the McGraw Wrestling Pavilion opened in 1998. The baseball field was renovated and named for Mo Vaughn, Class of 1986. An all-weather track was installed in 2006, and a grass football field remains in use on the west side of Route 22.


  • Cross country
  • Soccer
  • Football


  • Wrestling
  • Hockey
  • Ski team
  • Squash
  • Basketball


  • Track
  • Lacrosse
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Tennis

The Arts

At Trinity-Pawling all the arts are under one roof. The Gardiner Arts Center had formerly been the school's gym from 1911 to 1960 and then served as an auditorium until 2002.

In this facility, students rehearse and work in acoustically-designed rooms for the choir, jazz band, string ensemble, and small practice rooms. Gardiner Theater is used for plays, musicals, and concerts. The stage has a full fly space and is surrounded by a set shop, dressing rooms, and a rehearsal room. Students interested in all aspects of theater production have a first-rate facility in which to learn their skills. The ground floor of Gardiner Arts Center is devoted to spaces for the visual arts. The Photo Lab has 12 enlargers and two other rooms for rolling film, drying and mounting prints, and storage. The Pottery Room has nine wheels, a slab roller, and three kilns for oxidation firings. A large painting and drawing studio can hold up to two classes at one time and the smaller Veith Studio is used by advanced students. All the studios have abundant natural light and special spotlights, and the student art work enlivens the hallways.[6]

Clubs and Activities

There are 25-30 clubs and extracurricular activities offered to students each year. Some mainstays are Model UN, Diversity Club, Debate Club, Theater Tech Crew, Key Club (Admissions tour guides), and Film Club. Some more recent additions include Makers Club, fly-fishing club, and aviation club. Each student must participate in a club, program, or activity during their time at Trinity-Pawling.[7]

Honor Code and Honor Council

The Honor Council is a student organization. Members are elected to the Honor Council by their peers and are responsible for upholding the Honor Code through personal example while also educating the student body in honorable behavior. An honor pledge is signed by all students and faculty at the beginning of each academic year as follows:

"Honesty and integrity live at the heart of the school. Behavior inspired by faith and virtue creates honor in the academic community and allows us to live by the principles of the Trinity-Pawling Honor Code: My efforts, preparations, and presentation are at all times honest."[8]

The mission statement of the Honor Council is as follows:

"We, the Honor Council, are formed by seven members of the student body. We hope to encourage a community of character and mutual trust. We gather to discuss honesty and integrity and ways to keep these honorable values at the core of the school's identity. We will hear cases of dishonesty and make recommendations to foster honesty and integrity among the students and within the school. Finally, the Honor Council holds the Trinity-Pawling Honor Code in trust for all future and past students, faculty and alumni."[8]


  1. Each year the student body and faculty vote to name five to seven prefects to lead the student body. They are announced at the Stepping Up Ceremony, the School's internal graduation the day prior to Commencement.
  2. Dress Code: For Chapel, the boys dress in "Blues and Grays", consisting of a blue blazer, gray pants, white shirts, and usually a blue and gold tie. Recently, the boys have adopted the bow tie as a go-to for these events and often regular class days as well. Class Dress is a blazer, tie, and traditional khaki-style pants with shoes. Usually once a term there will be a dress down day to raise money for a charity or special cause. Neat Informal consists of a collared shirt with traditional khaki-style pants.[9]
  3. Thanksgiving Dinner occurs the night before the last exam prior to break. Each faculty table enjoys a turkey dinner with all the fixings. The prefects judge the best faculty carving performance and give out several other humorous awards.
  4. Candlelight is the special Christmas/holiday celebration held on two occasions: one for the Pawling community and the other for the students, faculty, and their families. This is followed by a roast beef dinner.'
  5. Headmaster's Holidays occur once per term and are very popular. They are typically announced in a clever way and allow the boys a night free of homework and the ability to sleep in the next day. Sports practices and evening study hall do take place to conclude the day off.

School Prayer

"O Spirit of Life, Wonderful Counselor: Let your presence in our midst make this school a fountain of wholesome activity and true knowledge: to her Trustees grant timely wisdom, to her Teachers the gift of inspiration, and to her Students a questing spirit; that soundness of learning, loftiness of character, and a capacity for gallant living may be furthered in this place from generation to generation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Alma Mater

Pawling, hear thy sons who love thee
Sing in worthy praise.
Pledging to our Alma Mater
Loyal hearts always.
Faith and courage, thy foundations,
Spread a-far thy fame:
We revere thee, Alma Mater
Honor'd be thy name.

Green the fields on which we triumphed:
Strong the friendships made.
Sunset o’er the western hillsides;
Pond in which we played.
Blazer, tie, crest worn with honor,
Boys now and always.
Chapel bells rang out the hours,
Cherish we those days.

Those who go from out thy portals,
Hallowed mem’ries bear,
Of the days of earnest striving
For thy glory there.
Here we gather strong in spirit
Singing joyfully,
Ever steadfast in devotion,
Pawling hail to thee!

School Hymn

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who thee by faith, before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might:
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, the one true Light.
Alleluia, alleluia.

O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
Fight as the saints, who nobly fought of old,
And win, with them, the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Notable Alumni


  1. ^ "Trinity Pawling School – Boarding School Profile". Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved November 7, 2007.
  2. ^ "George Bywater Cluett". Hudson River Valley Heritage. Trinity-Pawling School. Archived from the original on March 5, 2017. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  3. ^ Turner, Charles (1920). William Bradford Turner. Garden City, New York: Charles B. Turner, Country Life Press.
  4. ^ "Trinity-Pawling School: Effort System". Archived from the original on June 9, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  5. ^ "Trinity-Pawling School: Athletics". Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  6. ^ "Trinity-Pawling School: Facilities". Archived from the original on July 23, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  7. ^ "Trinity-Pawling School: Get Involved". Archived from the original on October 11, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Trinity-Pawling School: The Honor Council". Archived from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
  9. ^ "Trinity-Pawling School: Member Login". Retrieved October 10, 2017.

External links