More than a century of tradition.

History & Traditions

Curtis Wolsey Cate, a graduate of Roxbury Latin School and Harvard University, crossed the country in 1910 to start a boarding school that combined the academic excellence of the best East Coast prep schools with the can-do, adventurous spirit of the West. While Cate celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010, what has changed in the past century is as remarkable as what has remained the same.

The School opened by enrolling twelve boys in grades 7 to 12. Over time, Cate became a coeducational high school and grew to its current enrollment of 265 young men and women from 23 states and 15 countries. Today’s campus with its science and computer labs, art and music studios, extensive athletic facilities and wireless internet technology is a far cry from the School’s early days without electricity, heat or hot water. Beneath the physical changes, however, Cate is still very much the same place in vision and spirit.

Throughout its curriculum and residential life, Cate remains true to Mr. Cate’s ideal of a supportive community with outstanding faculty where, as he described it, students know “something of the pleasure of work and the joy of accomplishment.” It is a place where character building, as one faculty member puts it, “happens organically.” Students grow in wisdom, maturity and compassion as they learn the value of hard work, of service to others and of time spent outdoors. The academic program is at once rigorous and varied, and Cate graduates consistently enroll in the country’s top colleges and universities.

After graduation, Cate alumni stay deeply connected to one another, and to the School. The bonds that form through the common experience of scholarship, commitment, companionship, and service and deep and lifelong.