Trinity Park School in Context: College, Community, Contemporaries

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For twenty-four years at the turn of the twentieth century Duke University‘s East Campus hosted not only Duke‘s progenitor, Trinity College, but also a second educational institution, Trinity Park School. Modeled after some of the leading boarding and preparatory schools in the northeastern United States, Trinity Park School provided college preparatory instruction in the classical tradition to ensure that Trinity College was able to enroll a student body well prepared to handle its increasingly rigorous curriculum. Although its tenure was short, Trinity Park School was the right school in the right place at the right time. Trinity College traced its history to the early part of the nineteenth century and had grown amidst a variety of challenges, but the state of secondary education in North Carolina, particularly in the realm of public education, made it difficult for the college to find prospective students with the appropriate level of preparation for its program of study. Trinity‘s new home city of Durham was more progressive than most North Carolina towns, but the city and state did not fully embrace public education as a civic priority until the first decades of the twentieth century. Trinity Park School provided the solution to the college‘s needs in the interim, from 1898 to 1924. This paper examines Trinity Park School in three contexts: community, including the history of education in Durham, in North Carolina, and in the South; college, with a comprehensive review of Trinity College, the role it played in the development of education in North Carolina, and the origins of Trinity Park School; and contemporaries, focusing on Trinity Park School in both the historical context of boarding schools and in direct comparison to three northeastern schools, Phillips Academy in Massachusetts, the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, and the Hill School in Pennsylvania.





Phillips, Kathy Karbel (2017). Trinity Park School in Context: College, Community, Contemporaries. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from

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