History

Roland Park Country School is a very special place, marked by a resilient spirit that has been the School's hallmark since its inception over 100 years ago. This spirit has traveled with the School from the original campus on Keswick Road to Roland Avenue to University Parkway to our present campus at Chestnutwood.

Over the years, RPCS has thrived. Our commitment to providing students with an education above and the tools and knowledge necessary to pursue their passions with confidence, responsibility and an understanding of the world around them, has remained a constant. We invite you to share in our remarkable history and in the spirit that has carried RPCS through the past century!

Timeline

Year Event
1894 A neighborhood school, the Roland Park School for boys and girls, is established by Katherine and Adelaide Howard,
of Richmond Virginia, at their home on Notre Dame Avenue, now Keswick Road. Money is loaned to them by the Roland Park Company.
1900 The Roland Park School, also called the Baltimore Country School for Girls, is sponsored by the Roland Park Company and directed by Corrine Jackson and Bertha Chapman.
1905 Located at 210 Roland Avenue, now 4608 Roland Avenue, the Roland Park School under Bertha Chapman, Principal, institutes a college preparatory curriculum. The school continues to admit boys to Playground through 4th Grade.
1907 Katherine Jones Harrison becomes the first graduate of now Roland Park Country School, graduating from a class of one.
1908 The School is incorporated under Maryland laws and has an independent existence, apart from the Roland Park Company. Dr. A.R.L. Dohme is the first President of the Board of Trustees.
1912 Second Headmistress, Nana Duke Dushane, presides over RPCS. Nana Duke Dushane
1916 Due to an expanding student body, the school moves to 817 West University Parkway. An open-air school is built on the Greenway estate.
1917 During World War I the hockey field is planted with potatoes while the School flower beds are planted with peas and beans.
1918 The school expands, from seven to eight grades in the Main School. There continue to be four grades in the Primary School. RPCS's Alumnae Association is organized.
1922 Elizabeth M. Castle becomes the third Headmistress of the School. Elizabeth m. Castle
1923 The RPCS field hockey team has their first games. The record for the season is 2-0-1.
1932 The President of the Alumnae Association (Louise Kemp, 1925) is welcomed as the first alumnae representative to the Board of Trustees.
1947 The night after the June Commencement, 75% of the School is destroyed by fire. The Trustees make an immediate decision to rebuild, and additional fundraising begins to rebuild the gymnasium in memory of Amanda Lee Norris, retired Athletic Director. The School opens, as scheduled, in September.
1950 Anne Healy becomes the fourth Headmistress of RPCS. Anne Healy
1961 The last class of third primary boys graduated in June.
1963 RPCS changed its admission policy to read: “Application without discrimination for all qualified applicants" and became the first girls’ school in Maryland to be awarded a Cum Laude chapter.
1975 Headmistress Anne Healy retires after 25 years. Gordon K. Lenci becomes the School's first Headmaster. Again, RPCS decides to enroll boys in preparatory through 3rd Grade. The curriculum expands with added science, electives, and college guidance. Gordon K. Lenci
1976 Fire breaks out in the new Upper School Wing, built in 1968, during Thanksgiving vacation. School starts the following Monday in makeshift classrooms. The Trustees are forced into a decision about whether to renovate or relocate.
1978 Chestnutwood 5204 Roland Avenue: The Board of Trustees purchases the 21 acre estate adjacent to St. Mary's Seminary on Roland Avenue, known as Chestnutwood. The estate was formerly owned by Dr. and Mrs. A.R.L. Dohme and previously by Charles Bonaparte, the great-grandson of Jerome Bonaparte, Naploeon Bonaparte's brother.
1980 In October students march north on Roland Avenue to their new campus at 5204 Roland Avenue.
1981 Due to a drop in the male birth population and limited space, RPCS terminates admission for young boys.
1983 Margaret E. Smith becomes the sixth Head of School. Margaret E. Smith
1987 RPCS, Gilman and Bryn Mawr begin to coordinate Upper School classes.
1992 Jean Waller Brune, 1960 becomes the first RPCS alumna to be appointed Head of School. Jean Brune
 1996 Mary Ellen Thomsen becomes the first female President of the Board of Trustees  
1996 RPCS completes construction of an Arts Center, a new Upper and Middle School library, science labs, classrooms, a computer center, and an expanded athletic center.
1998 Celeste Woodward Applefeld, 1964 becomes the second female President of the Board of Trustees and the first alumna to hold this position.
2001 RPCS celebrates its centennial, and dedicates its new building including Lower School additions, the Smith Middle School, new science laboratories and new U.S. class rooms.
2008 RPCS completes construction of the RPCS Athletic Complex.
RPCS Logo

The laurel leaf has stood alone at the center of the School seal. The laurel leaf is a symbol of the high goals RPCS holds for itself and its students.This motif, which alumnae proudly display when they wear their Roland Park Country School ring, honors the School's long tradition of excellence.

Roland Park Country School

5204 Roland Avenue • Baltimore, Maryland 21210
Phone 410.323.5500 • fax 410.323.2164
Comments and Questions: info@rpcs.org
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