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The Same School, Only Better...
150 Years of Opportunity and Tradition


“The Whatsoevers”

Appointed principal in 1875, Rev. Francis Thayer Russell established an educational philosophy of kindness, respect and responsibility, and he placed on the wall of the schoolroom the words:

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

1875 – 1900

School Traditions Established

1878 – The first graduation ceremony is held          

1882 – The first reunion is held   

1885 – The Alumnae Association is formed                             

1898 – The Magpie begins publication

1898 – The Glee Club is formed

1900 – The Salmagundi begins publication

circa 1890

Telephone is New Technology

The telephone was patented by Alexander Graham Bell on March 7, 1876.   An early telephone hung on the wall at Saint Margaret’s School in the office of the headmaster, shown above. A crank on the side would be turned to signal an operator who would connect the call.


Day Student Program is Strengthened

With Headmistress Emily Gardner Munro’s support, the day student program took on a greater importance than in the past to become a “thoroughly modern, progressive day school” for young women. The curriculum was enriched to offer college preparatory courses and emphasis was placed on a challenging sports program.


Charles McTernan Begins Teaching in Waterbury

Mr. McTernan was hired by Frederick Starkweather Chase as a Latin tutor for his two young sons, Rowland and Sabin Chase, and two other boys. Two years later, he opened the doors of McTernan School where his teaching style remained as close to tutoring as possible and he made himself available to talk “man to man” with any boy who sought help.

Embracing Opportunities
and Traditions

in Academic Excellence, Athletics, the Arts, and so much more…


School Uniform Introduced at Saint Margaret’s

School uniforms were adopted during World War I. The first year, the seniors all wore white middy blouses. Beginning in 1919, the entire school wore a blue dress with middy collars and ties. In the fall and spring, the dresses were made of linen; in the winter, they were serge.


Women Vote for the First Time

Saint Margaret’s students held an annual debate on women’s suffrage starting in 1915. The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, and less than two days later the Waterbury Republican Party set up a special information desk to help local women register to vote. Connecticut’s women cast their first votes that fall.


McTernan School Statement of Purpose

“McTernan School strives to offer each student a sound, well-grounded educational experience which leads to … the realization of his intellectual, creative, social and physical potential in life … through an atmosphere which promotes self-discipline, close teacher-student relationships, guided independent study and a healthy attitude toward people and group activities.”


McTernan Holds First Graduation

Under the tenure of Headmaster Berkeley Hotchkiss, the School held its first formal graduation exercises, and Mr. McTernan began his tradition of coming back from his home in Old Saybrook to present the diplomas. It was at this point that McTernan School also began awarding book prizes to its best students in mathematics, English, French, Latin and history.


First Cum Laude Girls’ School in Connecticut

Saint Margaret’s was the first girls’ school in Connecticut to be invited to join the Cum Laude Society. One of the highest academic awards conferred in private secondary education is the bestowal of membership in the Cum Laude Society. The society was formed in 1906 to recognize boys of superior academic standing in preparatory schools throughout New England.

Since its inception, the School has sought to fulfill the current mission of Chase to “educate tomorrow’s leaders and inspire in each student a lifelong passion for learning, personal achievement, and contribution to the community.”


Christmas Story Hour

James Adams became headmaster in 1990 and continued the strong tradition of academic excellence for which the School is known. Mr. Adams also started a new tradition of reading holiday stories to students in the Kingsbury Library.


Chase’s School Crest

Chase Collegiate School proclaims its proud history through the design of a new School crest that incorporates meaningful representations of our founding schools.


Senior Class Gives Back

The Class Gift Program dates to the 1880s and reflects pride in the School and a spirit of giving back to the community that has provided a strong educational foundation and prepared students for a happy and successful life. This tradition shows appreciation by leaving a legacy gift that improves the School for future generations.


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