Salisbury School instills in boys a vibrant enthusiasm for learning and the self-confidence needed for intellectual, physical, moral and spiritual development.
Built on essential core values, the School's unique culture promotes brotherhood, creativity, empathy, humility, integrity, leadership and respect. Salisbury graduates are men of character and promise who are prepared to meet the challenges of college and adulthood and to make a difference in an entrepreneurial, technological and cosmopolitan world.
Our TraditionsSalisbury is a dynamic, modern boarding school in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut. We take pride in the history that makes us so unique, and celebrate it with a number of traditions that have been passed down over the years.
Discover for yourself the unique traditions that make us a leading boarding school in Connecticut’s Northwest Corner by scheduling a campus tour today.
We embrace the founding rector’s belief that a boy’s secondary school has the responsibility for addressing every aspect of development. Listed below are some of Salisbury’s traditions that continue to be such an important part of your overall school experience
Like many Northwest Corner boarding schools, we welcome students and faculty of all faiths, but maintain our historic ties to the Episcopal Church. The entire school community gathers every Tuesday and Friday morning in the Chapel for reflection or to hear a message. These services embrace all faiths.
The Sarum Hymn
The Sarum Hymn, often sung during Chapel and throughout the year at events, is our official School Song. The Sarum Hymn was written by E.W. Parmelee, master at Salisbury from 1909 through 1927, and is to be sung to Haydn's St. Anthony Chorale. To listen to the Salisbury Gospel Choir sing the Sarum Hymn, click here. (Stanzas one and four.)
Meals are an important part of life in any boarding school. Twice a week, you will eat family style with your advisor and fellow students. This promotes a deeper sense of community and allows you the chance to get to know boys from older or younger classes than your own.
Weather permitting, we gather twice a week in the Quadrangle for updates from faculty members and students on what lies ahead in a given week. The school president oversees these meetings, giving the first words of welcome as well as the dismissal.
Another valued tradition that sets us apart from other boarding schools in the Northwest Corner is good sportsmanship toward opponents, coaches, referees and spectators who may be cheering for another team. A Salisbury team is expected to be magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat. A victory by a winning team or squad is often applauded at school meetings.
Red Light in the Cupola
After a varsity team wins a sports match, the red light in the Main Building’s cupola is lit to alert the rest of the community to the team’s victory.
Hanging of the Greens
Shortly before students go on break for the winter holidays, the entire boarding school community gathers in the Chapel for the traditional Hanging of the Greens. We also celebrate the service of Lessons and Carols, sung by our joint student-faculty choir.
You will need wear a jacket and tie to class, sit-down meals, Chapel and special school events. In the winter, you may wear a turtleneck shirt instead of a tie and in the spring, Bermuda shorts may be worn on hot days. For other meals, you are permitted to wear collared shirts and trousers (no jeans). From the end of Saturday’s class until Monday morning, dress is casual.
Sixth Form Privileges
All sixth formers are entitled to wear a blue blazer with the Salisbury crest on the left jacket pocket. Graduates at commencement exercises traditionally wear a school blazer and white slacks. The “senior steps” are restricted to sixth form students.
The Salisbury Motto is Esse Quam Videri, which originates in Sallust’s Bellum Catalinarium, 54. Sallust compared Cato to Caesar and wrote that Cato preferred to be virtuous rather than appear to be so. Consequently, the less Cato sought recognition, the more he found it. “To be rather than to seem to be” is an affirmation of personal honor at the heart of the Salisbury experience.
The Salisbury crest is colored red for bravery and gold for generosity. The four crosses above and below the crest symbolize faith in God through Christ. The shell is a symbol of spiritual journey or pilgrimage. The heart symbolizes charity and the arrows preparedness. The open book is for learning and the acorn and its brand for maturity.
In the spring of 1995, the Sixth Form adopted the Crimson Knight as the School’s mascot. It symbolized the history, character and devotion of the Knights represented in The Sarum Hymn.
The School's Founding Headmaster, The Reverend George E. Quaile opened Salisbury School in 1901, after serving as Headmaster of St. Austin’s School on Staten Island in New York from 1894 to 1901.
Dr. Quaile was a man of rare moral leadership and broad vision. He purchased the original tract of land amid the rolling Berkshire hills for the present site of Salisbury School, selecting property that was originally an apple farm. The historic Main Building was constructed under Dr. Quaile’s direction and was the centerpiece of Salisbury School as an independent college preparatory school.
After his death in 1934, Dr. Quaile was succeeded by his son, Emerson B. Quaile, a Salisbury and Yale graduate, who was then serving as a Master of Latin at the neighboring Hotchkiss School. The Depression years stalled the growth of the School, as Mr. Quaile had the arduous task of maintaining traditional academic standards in a lean financial era when student enrollment sharply declined. His untimely death in 1942 ended the burgeoning career of a charismatic and dedicated Headmaster.
The Reverend George D. Langdon succeeded Emerson Quaile, and with the blessing of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Langdon initiated an expansion program which resulted in a complex of new school buildings. A growing enrollment and a maturing of the academic program accompanied the development of the physical plant. After Mr. Langdon’s retirement in 1965, further enhancement continued under his successor, The Reverend Edwin M. Ward.
Traditions and Values
During the 16 years of Rev. Ward’s stewardship, Salisbury stuck firmly to its established traditions and values through a period of turbulence in American education and emerged as one of the finest all-male schools in America. Upon Rev. Ward’s departure in 1981, The Reverend Peter W. Sipple of Oregon Episcopal School was appointed Salisbury’s fifth Headmaster in its eighty-year history.
Mr. Richard T. Flood, Jr., Dean of the School at Noble and Greenough in Boston, MA, was appointed Salisbury’s sixth headmaster in 1988. Under Mr. Flood’s 15 years at the School, Salisbury celebrated its Centennial (in 2001) and saw extensive building in conjunction with that celebration. Most notable were the building of the Wachtmeister Mathematics and Science Building, the Centennial Humanities Building (which also includes the Phinny Library, the Ruger Fine Arts Center and the Tremaine Art Gallery), and athletic fields on the north side of Route 44.
In November of 2002, Mr. Chisholm S. Chandler was appointed to succeed Mr. Flood. Having served the Salisbury School admissions and college offices successfully after he graduated from Brown University, Mr. Chandler became the seventh headmaster in July of 2003. Under his leadership, recent additions to campus include the state-of-the-art Flood Athletic Center (winter 2010), the Class of 2012 entrance to the Main Building (fall 2012), four new single-family faculty homes (fall 2015), and the William E. Buehner Digital Media Lab (fall 2015).
A recently completed capital campaign raised over $108,000,000 for the School. Gifts financed a wide variety of projects and programs including seven endowed scholarships, four teaching fellowships, ten endowed funds, the renovation and restoration of our Main Building, turf field stadium seating and the Class of 2013 Global Classroom and Video Conferencing Center.
In summer 2016, Salisbury began the restoration and renovation of the Main Building's north wing, Spencer Hall. Main is Salisbury's "signture" building and this project will be one of the most extensive restoration projects ever undertaken on the Hilltop, given the size, age and and varied roles and functions Spencer Hall will serve.
A Place Where Leaders Are Born
At Salisbury School, we believe the high school years are among the most formative of any boy’s life. They are a time when boys discover who they are and what they stand for, and when they develop the values that will stay with them throughout adulthood.
What makes us different from other top boys’ boarding schools in the Northeast is our focus on molding the whole individual. We believe strong values can’t be taught solely in the classroom or on the playing field. Our approach stresses mental, physical, creative and spiritual development as part of the same character-building process.
To that end, we offer a rigorous program that involves academics, sports and the arts, as well as an immersion in the rich community life our campus provides. The majority of our 310 students live on campus, sharing meals and participating in activities together. Over 30 interscholastic sport teams provide opportunities at a variety of levels, while our music and art studios are among the best equipped of any private boys’ school in the Northeast.
A Multidisciplinary Education in a Peaceful Setting
Don’t let our stately buildings and lush, 725-acre main campus fool you — the education your son will receive at Salisbury School is modern and world-class. Our rural surroundings create the perfect atmosphere for contemplating the classics, exploring cutting-edge science and technology or learning business skills that give students a key advantage in a globalized economy.
Our curriculum includes a range of AP and advanced courses for college prep, as well as our Programs of Distinction in tiny house design and build, entrepreneurship, and digital media. Working closely with our faculty and advisors, students can choose a well-rounded course of study that nurtures their interests while ensuring they are fully equipped to succeed in the modern world.
Preparing Students to Take the Next Steps
Of course, one of the most important benefits to sending your son to a private boys’ school is the advantage it will give him when applying for college. Indeed, college prep is a major focus at Salisbury School. Our students work closely with advisors and use sophisticated tools to identify the best schools for them and put together a strong application package that will increase their chances of acceptance.
We have been one of the most successful college prep boarding schools in the Northeast at getting our students into the institution of their choice. Visit our College Advising page to learn more.