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Our History


The history of the Pingry School from its beginnings in 1861 to the present, is the story of a man who took a small school, hardly known beyond the limits of its city in the nineteenth century, stamped it with his ideals of education, and transformed it into a nationally recognized institution. Dr. John Francis Pingry gave the school its basic character through the strength of his own good qualities, a legacy that continues to this day, and his founding motto was, "Maxima reverentia pueris debetur" -- "Greatest respect is due students."

Dr. John F. Pingry founded the school in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1861 to provide both scholastic training and moral education for boys. By exposing them to the rigors of a strict classical education, Dr. Pingry instilled in his students the mental discipline they needed to meet the challenges of their future life.

  The School remained at its original site until 1953, when the Pingry School moved from Elizabeth only a few blocks away to the edge of Hillside, New Jersey.

Early in the 1970s, two important changes occurred: Pingry began the transition to a coeducational school. The first female students, who graduated in 1976, were succeeded by other young women who today represent half the student body.

Pingry grew again by merging with the Short Hills Country Day School to become a school with grades from Kindergarten through grade 12. Today over 250 children attend the Pingry Short Hills Campus.

In 1983 the School moved again, to Martinsville, a rural area in the Watchung and Somerset hills. The campuses are approximately 25 minutes apart, and both are located conveniently near the New York metropolitan area, which continues to provide many outside resources to supplement the classroom.

In 2013, the Martinsville Campus made another move...of sorts. We exchanged our former Martinsville P.O. Box mailing address for a numbered street address in Basking Ridge. This change finally made our campus location compatible with satellite navigation services, online mapping sites, and overnight mail delivery requirements. Although the change did not involve a physical move of the campus, the Martinsville Campus since became know as the "Basking Ridge Campus."

Today, Pingry has 1,065 students on its two campuses. Students come from twelve counties and over ninety municipalities.

 The Pingry Alma Mater - "Old John Pingry"
Nat Conard


Nathaniel E. Conard 2005-
John L. Neiswender 2000-2005
John Hanly 1987-2000
David C. Wilson ’59
H. Westcott Cunningham ’38
Charles B. Atwater ’31
E. Lawrence Springer 1936-1961
C. Bertram Newton 1920-1936
C. Mitchell Froelicher 1917-1920
David Magie 1915-1917
S. Archibald Smith 1907-1915
Walter R. Marsh 1899-1907
Frank H. Robson 1897-1899
William H. Corbin 1892-1897
John F. Pingry 1861-1892


Short Hills Campus (Lower School)
50 Country Day Drive
Short Hills, NJ 07078
P (973) 379 4550 | F (973) 379 1861
Basking Ridge Campus (Middle & Upper Schools)
131 Martinsville Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
P (908) 647 5555 | F (908) 647 3703
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