The Blake School (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

The Blake School (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Infobox Private School
background = #f0f6fa
border = #ccd2d9
name = The Blake School

motto = Challenging the mind, engaging the heart
established = 1900
type = Private (Independent)
head master = John Gulla
city = Minneapolis
state = Minnesota
country = USA
campus = •Lower and Middle School, Blake Campus (Hopkins, Minnesota)
•Lower School, Highcroft Campus (Wayzata, Minnesota)
•Upper School, Northrop Campus (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
enrollment = 1370
faculty =
class =
ratio =
year =
athletics = 28 varsity sports
colors = Royal Blue, Kelly Green, Brown and White
mascot = Bears
School Paper = Spectrum
conference = Tri Metro Conference
homepage = [] |

The Blake School is a private, college preparatory, coeducational school serving approximately 1,370 students in grades PreKindergarten–12. The School is located on three campuses around the Twin Cities area in Minnesota: the Northrop Campus houses the Upper School (grades 9–12) and is in downtown Minneapolis; the Blake Campus is the location of administration offices, the middle school, and one half of the Lower School, and is in Hopkins; the Highcroft Campus in Wayzata is the other half of the Lower School. In late 2007, the Wall Street Journal listed Blake School as one of the world's top 50 schools for its success in preparing students to enter top American universities.cite web|url=|title=How the Schools Stack Up|publisher="The Wall Street Journal"|date=2007-12-28|author=Staff writer|accessdate=2008-07-25]


During the early 20th century, two schools were founded to educate young Minneapolis students: the Northrop Collegiate School for girls and The Blake School for boys. Northrop was started in 1900 and moved into Graham Hall, the current home of the Upper School, in 1914. In 1913, the Blake School for boys had its first graduate. It was incorporated in 1907 in the suburban town of Hopkins, and its original campus is now currently known as the Blake Campus and is the home to the Middle School and one of the two Lower Schools. The Highcroft Campus can trace its roots back to Highcroft Country Day School. Founded in 1958, the school served Highcroft students until ninth grade, and then they could attend either Blake or Northrop. Today, the Highcroft Campus is home to the second of the two Lower Schools. The three schools entered into a partnership in 1972 and merged.The Blake School official website, [ History of The Blake School] ] Blake graduated its first coeducational class in 1975.

The earliest predecessor of the present school dates back to 1900 and was founded as Graham Hall by Miss Zulema A. Ruble and Miss Carrie Bartlett. The school, which provided the opportunity for girls to continue their studies through their second year of college, was first located in a house near downtown Minneapolis. But the school soon outgrew that location and moved into three neighboring houses about six blocks from its original location. In July 1914 a group of Minneapolis leaders purchased Graham Hall, and the following summer incorporated the school as "Northrop Collegiate School". It was named in honor of Cyrus Northrop, president of the University of Minnesota from 1885–1911. Dr. Northrop was a speaker at the January 29, 1917 opening ceremonies of the school's new building near downtown Minneapolis, which currently houses the Upper School of The Blake School.

"The Blake School" began as three independent schools. In September 1907, William McKendree Blake established the Blake School, a preparatory school for boys, in downtown Minneapolis. Three years later, an area businessman wanted to reform Blake and put it on the same plane as eastern preparatory academies. With help from William Blake, Charles C. Bovey asked 16 other local business leaders to contribute $2,500 each towards Blake's first capital drive. These original guarantors hired Charles B. Newton, who was educated at Princeton and Harvard Universities, to replace William Blake as headmaster in 1911. The school incorporated on May 5, 1911, and one years later their pooled resources enabled construction of a new building in Hopkins in 1912 (the site is still the home campus for the Middle School and one of the two Lower School campuses).

"Highcroft Country Day School" was founded in 1958 as an independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, kindergarten through ninth grade school. Highcroft was designed to provide an education, near home, for students in the far western suburbs of the Twin Cities. The school building was built in 1960 on land purchased and donated to the school, which had been part of the former Highcroft estate in Wayzata. Today, Highcroft is Blake's other Lower School campus.

Following graduation from ninth grade, many Highcroft students attended Northrop or Blake, and Highcroft later became a partner in the four-year process that resulted in the merger of Northrop, Blake and Highcroft on August 15, 1972. After the merger the three schools were known as The Blake Schools, until 1987, when the name officially became The Blake School.

Many of the traditions of the schools that merged are preserved in today's Blake School. One of the school colors, green, came from Highcroft, while the other school color, blue, and Cyrus the bear, came from Northrop. Cyrus the bear combined with the Blake Bear to become the new school's mascot.


The Blake School is in the Tri-Metro Conference, which is part of the Minnesota State High School League. Their main rival is Breck School, which they play in almost every sport except Boys Swim/Dive where the two schools have a combined team. The school's strengths lie in Soccer, Lacrosse, and especially Ice Hockey. In 2007, Blake took back its title as Minnesota's Class A Challenge Cup champion, winning a statewide, year-long competition among Minnesota State High School League member schools. The Blake Bears won the award in 2005 and finished second in 2006. The Blake School official website, [> Blake Brings Challenge Cup Back Home Again] ] In 2008, the boy's and girl's lacrosse teams both took the state championship title.

Notable alumni

*Al Franken, Class of 1969, "American liberal humorist, satirist, comedian, author, screenwriter, television performer (Saturday Night Live), political commentator, radio host, and 2008 U.S. Senate Candidate"The Blake School official website, [ Outstanding Alumni Award] ]
*John Bowe, Class of 1982, author focussing on modern slavery
*Steve Kelley, Class of 1971, Minnesota State Senator, Former State Rep., Attorney & 2000 US Senate Candidate [Pioneer Press, [ "Will gutsy moves bring Kelley glory?"] , June 5, 2006]
*David Ellwood, Class of 1971, Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA [The Blake School official website, [ David Ellwood Alumnus] ]
*Mark Dayton, Class of 1965, U.S. Senator, represented Minnesota [Mark Dayton's official website, [ Mark Dayton Bio] ]
*George Roy Hill, Class of 1939, Oscar-winning Director [The Blake School official website, [ George Hill Alumnus] ]
*Tom Davis, Class of 1970, Prolific comedy writer and performer
*Arthur Phillips, Class of 1986, novelist, author of Prague
*Robert Pirsig, Class of 1943, Author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


ee also

*List of high schools in Minnesota

External links

* [ The Blake School's Website]
* [ A History Of Blake]
* [ Private School Review's Profile of The Blake School]

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