Lawrence Academy, one of the oldest independent schools in the United States, was founded in 1793.
By 1969, when Benjamin D. Williams III arrived as headmaster, the school had developed a fine plant and begun to accrue a modest endowment. In 1971, Lawrence Academy reclaimed a part of its earlier heritage, again opening its doors to female students. It quickly achieved approximately the same male-female and boarding-day ratios that it had enjoyed during its nineteenth-century heyday, although both the student body and the faculty were much larger. The 1970s saw major programmatic and curricular changes as well as increased stability of faculty and staff. The headmaster, trustees, and faculty sought to develop a program that was distinctive and spoke to the educational needs and market of the time. Winterim and Lawrence II (now known as the Independent Immersion Program, or IIP) evolved; elective courses and independent study appeared. Lawrence joined the Independent School League, and the school made a strong commitment to the arts both as part of the curriculum and as afternoon activities.
"It's our responsibility as a school to take you seriously to see you in all your dimensions to recognize you even for more than you are right now."Dan Scheibe, Head of School
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