Concept

Williston Northampton School

Summary
Williston Northampton School (simply referred to as Williston) is a private, co-educational, day and boarding college-preparatory school in Easthampton, Massachusetts, United States. It was established in 1841. Williston Seminary was founded by Samuel Williston (1795–1874), a wealthy button manufacturer, in February 1841; the school opened that December, with a dedication address by Mark Hopkins, president of nearby Williams College. The idea of opening a new academy in the neighborhood had been in the air ever since the closing in 1834 of the Round Hill School in nearby Northampton. In its early days, there was no arrangement of studies by terms and the students were not classified. Luther Wright, its principal from 1841 to 1849, believed it was desirable to have his pupils study together in a single room under his direction. However, the school's student population grew rapidly and the one-room schoolhouse scheme was soon no longer practicable, as more instructors and new buildings were added. By the 1850s the schools campus was dominated by three large buildings: North Hall, Middle Hall and South Hall. For many years the school was co-educational, with the students divided and taught separately in male and female departments, but in 1864 the female division was discontinued. The seminary comprised two faculties: classical and scientific. With the departure in 1863 of the school's second president, Josiah Clark, a classicist Greek and Latin scholar who had vigorously fought against the expansion of the English department, the school's curriculum began to be modernized. Samuel Williston remained the dominant influence in the school's growth until his death in 1874. In the late 19th century the dual curricula had evolved into a more modern comprehensive course (e.g. with "scientific and preparatory departments", and in 1924 the school was renamed Williston Academy. During the 1960s Williston began to examine possibilities for coeducation, and in 1971, merged with its longtime sister school, the Northampton School for Girls, to become the Williston Northampton School.
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