A School in Constant Motion | April 2023

As a candidate for Hopkins’ headship in the fall of 2021, I was amazed to find on the School’s website a historical reference to Katherine Glendinning (my wife’s name). See if you can follow the bouncing ball of history here, so to speak:

In 1907, Katherine Glendinning founded a girls school in New Haven known as Miss Kate’s, which evolved into Mrs. Day’s School in 1916 and then the Day School in 1936. In 1960, that school joined another girls school (Prospect Hill, founded in 1931) to form the Day Prospect Hill School, which itself merged with Hopkins Grammar in 1972 to form the school we call Hopkins today. (Don’t worry: there won’t be a quiz on all this later.)

I considered the coincidence of my wife’s name a providential sign, and today I am proud to serve as Hopkins’ Head of School as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of coeducation on the Hill.

In reading some of the published histories of the School—e.g., Chronicles of Hopkins Grammar School 1660–1935 (Davis, 1938) or The Girls’ Schools of New Haven 1907–1972 (Benedict, Dawidoff, and Mulholland, 2011)—I have been struck by the dedication of those who led or taught at the various institutions, the level of engagement and intellectual caliber of the students, and the way the schools responded to constant change. 

I think the same holds true today. Hopkins in the year 2023 is a busy, dynamic, and vibrant place, where every day 712 students and 179 faculty and staff are in constant motion. Students shift between classes, clubs, and athletics, step up to the challenge of mid-year exams, and pour themselves into dramatic performances and service projects. Faculty and staff, committed to providing a world-class education, are constantly revising their curriculum and pedagogy to meet today’s needs and challenges (the advent of AI technologies such as ChatGPT being just the latest example). At Hopkins, we are all on a journey of growth and progress, striving to exceed what we once thought was impossible, both in ourselves and in our institution.

It is with this sentiment that we present this issue of Views from the Hill. Here, we celebrate the evolution of Hopkins School, the people who make up its DNA, and the joys and challenges that come with progress. In marking the 50th anniversary of the merger between Hopkins Grammar and Day Prospect Hill, we explore both the triumphs and the difficulties involved in blending two institutions with rich histories and different customs. Similarly, in sharing details about the new Academic & Performing Arts Center, we pause to remember the history and impact of Lovell Hall while also sharing excitement for the many ways our community will benefit from the new space.

Within this issue, we provide a photographic glimpse inside Hopkins classrooms and share some of the ways the curriculum fosters a key 21st century skill: collaboration. We also honor current faculty and staff who are celebrating tenure milestones this year. And as always, Class Notes provide a glimpse into the current lives of those who walked these halls over many decades.

We hope you find something that speaks to you in this issue, some reminder that the school you have known, in all its complexity, continues to honor its tremendous past while it prepares for an exciting future.

    • Voted #1
      Best Day School
      in CT, 2024

Hopkins is a private middle school and high school for grades 7-12. Located on a campus overlooking New Haven, CT, the School takes pride in its intellectually curious students as well as its dedicated faculty and staff.