A Day at Lawrenceville
A Lawrenceville, every day presents a busy schedule. Students must learn to balance their time effectively as they meet their commitments surrounding classes, athletics, arts, special events, friends, and, of course, eating and sleeping. Classes generally begin at 8 a.m. and end at 3:05 p.m. However, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, classes end at 12:20 and 11:30 a.m., respectively. After class, all students either partake in their specific sports team practice/game or engage in community service. Following afternoon commitments, the entire school eats in the Irwin Dining Center from 5:30-7 p.m. Finally, after eating, students are free until check-in at 8 p.m. to do whatever they want, whether that is club activities, homework, rehearsal, or socializing. From 8 p.m. onward, students must stay in their specific houses and take part in study hall. After 10:15 p.m., students may continue working or socialize with others in their house until lights out at 11:15 p.m. Moreover, on weekends, students can attend all-school social events until Saturday night check-in at 11 p.m.
The House System is essentially Lawrenceville's dormitory system, which divides the population of students into smaller, more intimate houses based on age and gender. The primary focus of the house system is geared towards sophomores and juniors, who live in houses on the Circle (boys) and the Crescent (girls). The Circle houses, which were built around a circular field designed by Frederick Olmsted, are Kennedy, Woodhull, Cleve, Dickinson, Hamill, and Griswold. Meanwhile, the Crescent houses were built in a crescent shape behind Bunn Library and are McClellan, Stanley, Stephens, Carter, and Kirby. Overall, these houses each have their own specific traditions and histories that develop a sense of pride and belonging amongst resident students. Each house has a personal dining area in the Irwin Dining Center and its own flag. Furthermore, to encourage teamwork and pride amongst members of each house, Lawrenceville holds a variety of competitions between houses throughout the year:
• House Olympics: Held at the beginning of the year, the House Olympics is an event in which all sophomore and junior houses engage in athletic competitions, such as tug of war and tricycle races, against one another. The house that tallies the most points in all the events wins and gets to host the first dance of the year.
• House Football: Dating back to 1889, Lawrenceville's House Football league is the oldest in the world. Each Circle house presents a team that competes for the" Pride of the Circle," or essentially the championship. Furthermore, within the league there are traditional rivalry games that are treated more importantly than the championship. For instance, in 1947, Hamill players accidentally collided with the coach of Kennedy on the sideline and broke his leg. Since then, his weathered wooden crutch from the game has been used as a trophy between the two teams. The rivalry became so intense that even the New York Times would publish "The Crutch" game's score in the late 20th Century.
• Foresman (boys) and Desdner (girls) Cups: yearlong athletic competition between the intramural sports teams of each house. The houses with the most championships at the end of the year are awarded the two trophies.
• Chivers Cup: yearlong academic competition between the houses. The house with the highest GPA at the end of the year is awarded the trophy.
• Adams Cup: yearlong community service competition between the houses. The house with the most community service hours at the end of the year is awarded the trophy.
Through competition, new members, and past traditions, each house develops incredible unity and its own unique character.
Before the mid-20th Century, Lawrenceville's student population was almost entirely white males. In 1964, the first black student was admitted to the school. Furthermore, it was not until 1987, that Lawrenceville became coed. However, despite being initially slow in adjusting to social change, Lawrenceville has become an extremely diverse and accepting environment over the past two decades. For instance, in 2003-4, Lawrenceville's student population was:
• 70% Caucasian
• 13% Asian
• 8% International
Today, however, the school's student base is:
• 55% Caucasian
• 21% Asian
• 14% International
The school continues to strive to provide a diverse and accepting environment for all of its students. Just recently, it finished a four year campaign that raised $36 million for financial aid. This money, along with money from the endowment, donations, and tuition, will allow Lawrenceville to provide education to even more outstanding students of less fortunate income levels. Regardless of an individual's race, economic status, sexuality, etc., he or she will be accepted at Lawrenceville and make friends with a vast array of individuals inside and outside of his or her house.
Outside of academic, art, and athletic responsibilities, students at Lawrenceville can take part in a vibrant social scene. For instance, the school's student-led social council organizes various formals and events throughout the year, ranging from the Valentine's Day formal to a world record breaking pie eating contest. Perhaps the most unique aspect of Lawrenceville's social scene, though, is the consistent contributions of both boy and girl houses.
• Dances: Every weekend, at least one house will host a school-wide dance, festival, or theme party. For instance, the Griswold House annually hosts "Griswild," which is a jungle themed dance.
• Invite-a-friends: Houses will often host mixers called invite-a-friends, in which members of the house will invite someone, whether they are a friend or significant other, from another house to a themed party.
• Invite-a-houses: Like invite-a-friends, houses will host a themed party, yet, instead of inviting individuals, they will invite an entire other house.
• Feeds: Every Saturday night, one individual in each house will organize a cheap late night meal for all of his or her fellow residents to have after 11 p.m. check-in. This provides an opportunity for all the residents to hang out after a Saturday night social event and decompress before lights out.
Overall, the greatest aspect of Lawrenceville social life is that everyone in the community is included. Every weekly party, dance, or formal is open to all students.
Major School Rules:
• 1. A student must respect the rights and property of others
• 2. A student must be honest
• 3. A student must remain drug and alcohol free
• 4. A student must protect the health and safety of himself/herself and others
• 5. A student must abide by the School's rules regarding permissions and signing out
• 6. A student must abide by the School's motor vehicle regulations
• 7. A student must meet community expectations and the high standard of conduct expected of a Lawrentian
• 8. A student must abide by federal, state, and local laws
• Two Major School Rule violations will result in expulsion
• Underclassmen may not ride in an automobile unless they are with their parents
• Students may not be off campus after 7 p.m. unless they have notified their Housemaster
• Students must check into their respective houses before 8 p.m. on Sunday-Friday nights and before 11 p.m. on Saturday nights
• Students must be in their rooms with the lights out by 11:15 on Sunday-Friday nights and before 1 a.m. on Saturday nights
• Students must work in study hall from 8:15-10:15 p.m. on Sunday-Friday nights
• Violations in these and other house-specific rules will result in a variety of punishments that vary depending on the degree of the violation. Such punishments include detention, work duty, campus restriction, in-house restriction, and loss of privileges.