Doane Academy

Coordinates: 40°04′44″N 74°52′02″W / 40.079025°N 74.867174°W / 40.079025; -74.867174
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Doane Academy
350 Riverbank

, ,

United States
Coordinates40°04′44″N 74°52′02″W / 40.079025°N 74.867174°W / 40.079025; -74.867174
TypeIndependent day school
MottoRight Onward
Religious affiliation(s)Episcopal
Established1837; 186 years ago (1837)
FounderGeorge Washington Doane
NCES School ID00868553[3]
Head of schoolGeorge B. Sanderson[1]
Faculty38.3 FTEs[3]
GradesPreK-twelfth grade[2]
Enrollment219 (plus 10 in PreK, as of 2019–20)[3]
Student to teacher ratio5.7:1[3]
Campus size15.11 acres (6.11 ha)
Campus typeSuburban, riverside
Color(s)  Navy blue
  Carolina blue
AthleticsBaseball, Softball, Soccer, Cross Country, Rowing, Basketball, Bowling
Athletics conferenceBurlington County Scholastic League
Team nameSpartans[5]
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools[6]
Endowment$29,000,000~[citation needed]
Annual tuition$22,250 (grades 9-12 for 2022-23)[7]
Alumni nameThe Society of Graduates
Doane Academy - As Seen From the Delaware River.jpg
Doane Academy from the Delaware River
Rowan Hall (2015) houses modern classrooms, while replicating the external appearance of the school building as it looked in 1837.

Doane Academy is a coeducational, independent day school for grades from Pre-K to 12 located in Burlington, Burlington County, New Jersey, United States. Originally called St. Mary's Hall, it was founded in May 1837 by Episcopal Bishop George Washington Doane, initially as an Episcopal girls' boarding school, the first in the United States to offer a classical academic education.

In 1955 affiliation with the diocese was severed. In 1966 a boys' school, known as Doane Academy, was built on campus. The schools were merged in 1974 as St. Mary's Hall-Doane Academy. Later the name was shortened to the Doane Academy.

The headmaster is George Sanderson. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools until July 2029 and has been accredited since 1989,[6] and is a member of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, the National Association of Independent Schools and the National Association of Episcopal Schools.[2]


The academy was founded as St. Mary's Hall by the Right Reverend George Washington Doane, second Episcopal bishop of New Jersey. Through the diocese he purchased an existing girls' school. St. Mary's opened on May 1, 1837, with 52 pupils.[8] Founded to offer a classical education equal to that of boys, it accepted girls and young women as undergraduates and postgraduates. The young women were prepared to be teachers. It was the first all-girls academic boarding school in the United States. During its early years, the students mostly came from the East Coast, but were drawn from a wide area, ranging from New England to Virginia, and into upstate New York, who traveled to the school by boat and stagecoach.

Bishop Doane raised capital for the new school by issuing shares of stock, but a severe financial depression hit the United States just as the school was opening. Saint Mary's Hall survived, financed mainly from the personal funds of Eliza Green Perkins Doane, the Bishop's wife. She received a $9,500 annual dowry from the estate of her late first husband, which she donated to the school.[9]

The success of St. Mary's Hall encouraged Bishop Doane to open a boys' school on an adjacent site in 1846. The new Burlington College, though, did not enjoy the success of the girls' school, and its doors closed in 1877.[10] The girls' school continued to flourish, its campus developing throughout the late 19th century.[11] Teachers generally lived in houses nearby, especially along Wood Street.

This prosperity continued into the first half of the 20th century, when central heating was introduced, as were electric lighting and showers. A large nearby house was purchased, initially to be used as a lower school and later as a senior dorm.[12]

Many private schools were forced to close during the Depression, but St. Mary's Hall was able to increase the number of day pupils by establishing additional bus routes over the newly completed Burlington-Bristol Bridge to Pennsylvania on the other side of the Delaware River.[13] By the 1950s, though, boarding numbers were in decline. In 1953, the trustees decided to abandon boarding and become a day school.[14] The affiliation with the diocese was ended in 1955.

In 1966, the trustees again opened a boys' school, Doane Academy, in association with St. Mary's Hall. Although managed by the same Board of Trustees, the two schools were separate institutions. Signage around St. Mary's Hall instructed the girls, "Do not fraternize with the Doane boys."[14]

On February 27, 1974, the main building on the St. Mary's campus was destroyed by fire. There had been plans afoot to merge the two schools, and the damage from the fire encouraged the trustees to bring the plan forward. From September 1974, a single school—the co-educational St. Mary's Hall-Doane Academy—opened under a new headmaster, Rev. William Scheel.[14] In April 2008 the name was shortened to Doane Academy.[15]


In January 2015, the school announced that Henry Rowan (1923–2015) and his wife Eleanor, long-time benefactors, gifted $17 million toward the endowment fund of Doane Academy, with the proceeds available to the school in perpetuity. The school's current endowment is $28 million.[16]

With previous Rowan gifts and other donations, the school was able to erect and furnish Rowan Hall (2015). It connects Scarborough Hall (1912) and Odenheimer Hall (1868), unifying the campus.[17]


Doane Academy is located on a campus of 15.11 acres (6.11 ha) at the western end of the City of Burlington and is situated along the banks of the Delaware River in an area also known as The Green Bank. It includes among its structures three buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Chapel of the Holy Innocents. This has been classified as the first Gothic cruciform church in the United States. The building has been recorded in the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), with measured drawings held by the Library of Congress. The chapel houses a fine example of an early, 2 manual, mechanical action pipe organ. Originally built by Hall and Labaugh in 1854 and rebuilt by George Jardine and Son in 1900, it was restored in 2012 by Patrick J Murphy and Associates.[18] In 2019, Doane Academy acquired the two properties associated with the former Elias Boudinot Elementary School, which are contiguous to the Doane Academy campus. This acquisition, which includes land that had been sold by the academy to the city in 1955, grows the campus by about fifteen percent.[19]

Student body[edit]

The school has students enrolled from 41 municipalities across the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.[20]

As of the 2019–20 school year, the school had an enrollment of 219 students (plus 10 in PreK) and 38.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 5.7:1. The school's student body was 48.9% (107) White, 25.1% (55) Black, 13.7% (30) Asian, 8.2% (18) two or more races, 3.2% (7) Hispanic, 0.5% (1) American Indian/ Alaska Native and 0.5% (1) Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander.[3]



The school offers a broad curriculum, with lower school students pursuing courses in mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies. In addition, they study Spanish and music.[21] Students from grades 6 through 12 are required to study a core curriculum of English, mathematics and the sciences, together with studies in subjects including history, fine arts, and performing arts.[22]


Participation in athletics is considered an essential element of an education at Doane Academy. As a result, each student in grades 9—12 is required to play on a team for at least one season a year. The pupils in grades 6—8 compete against other middle school teams in soccer, boys' and girls' basketball, baseball and softball. Students in grades 9—12 compete at varsity level in the Burlington County Scholastic League[23] in cross country running, boys' and girls' soccer, boys' and girls' basketball, baseball, softball and bowling. The co-ed crew team competes in regional regattas in both the fall and spring.

The Doane Academy Spartans[5] compete in interscholastic sports as part of the Burlington County Scholastic League which is comprised of public and private high schools in the Burlington County area and operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), for all sports with the exception of the crew team.[24] With 99 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2019–20 school year as Non-Public B for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 37 to 366 students in that grade range (equivalent to Group I for public schools).[25]

Athletic facilities at the school include two soccer fields, a softball field, the Winzinger Baseball Field, a full-sized gymnasium and two fitness centers. The Delaware River is used for crew practices. The cross-country team practices on and around the campus.[26]

Athletic highlights:

  • Penn-Jersey Baseball champions: 2014, 2015[27]
  • Penn-Jersey Softball champions: 1992, 1993, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Penn-Jersey Cross Country champions: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • BCSL - Burlington County Division Cross Country Championship Open: 2019
  • Penn-Jersey Girls Soccer champions: 1979, 1980, 1992, 2010, 2011
  • Penn-Jersey Boys Basketball champions: 2014
  • NJSIAA Prep B Boys Basketball state champions 2019 (winning 57-51 vs. The Pennington School in the finals) and[28] 2022 (winning 69-59 vs. Princeton Day School)[29]
  • Middle School Basketball undefeated seasons: 2005–2006, 2008–2009

Visual arts[edit]

Doane Academy's art department not only educates the novice "artist" but also provides opportunities for the serious art students to further develop their skills. The campus contains two art studios and one ceramics studio. The school has an exclusive and unique partnership with Studio Incamminati, one of the nation's foremost schools of art. Professional teaching artists show students how to see the world in higher definition as they learn techniques and principals of modern humanist realism. Nelson Shanks, the late world-renowned artist and co-founder of Studio Incamminati, said that one of the goals of his Realism school and program was to train students to “see”, and to do so beyond the shape and color of the subject.[30] Working with professionals from Studio Incamminati on a daily basis is an opportunity available only to students at Doane.

Performing arts[edit]

In the spring of each year, the Upper School's Spartan Studio Actors put on a play or musical. Recent performances have included Firebirds, The Diary of Anne Frank, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised), Little Shop of Horrors, All in the Timing, and The World Goes 'Round. In May or June, the Lower School stages a production, such as Hamlet for Kids and The Day the Crayons Quit. Students interested in the performing arts, both on and off the stage, have numerous opportunities to participate in other dramatic and musical performances throughout the year.[31]

The academy has a band, a choir, and a string ensemble for both the Upper and Lower schools. It also has a jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble and pit orchestra.[32]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Staff Directory, Doane Academy. Accessed January 26, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Doane Academy". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e School data for Doane Academy, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed March 10, 2022.
  4. ^ Newman, Jack H. (2012). St. Mary's Hall and Doane Academy. Charleston, SC: Arcadia. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-7385-7671-8.
  5. ^ a b c Doane Academy, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Doane Academy, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Accessed December 24, 2022.
  7. ^ Tuition and Fees, Doane Academy. Accessed December 20, 2022.
  8. ^ Newman, Jack H. (2012). St. Mary's Hall and Doane Academy. Charleston, SC: Arcadia. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-7385-7671-8.
  9. ^ Newman, Jack H. (2012). St. Mary's Hall and Doane Academy. Charleston, SC: Arcadia. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-7385-7671-8.
  10. ^ Newman, Jack H. (2012). St. Mary's Hall and Doane Academy. Charleston, SC: Arcadia. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-7385-7671-8.
  11. ^ "Our History 1859–1911". Doane Academy. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  12. ^ "Our History 1912-29". Doane Academy. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  13. ^ "Our History 1930-52". Doane Academy. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  14. ^ a b c "Our History 1974-90". Doane Academy. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  15. ^ "About - Doane Academy". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  16. ^ IRS Form 990 Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax Form 990 Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service U for Doane Academy
  17. ^ Urciuoli, Brielle (January 9, 2015). "Doane Academy in Burlington City receives $17M gift from Rowan foundation". The Times (Trenton). Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  18. ^ "Doane Academy". Patrick J Murphy and Associates. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  19. ^ Rushing, Ellie. "South Jersey private school announces expansion, purchases nearby vacant public school", The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 4, 2019. Avvessed March 15, 2022. "Doane Academy in Burlington City announced Friday that it acquired the former Elias Boudinot School, increasing the small prep school’s physical campus by 15%, but the use of the land is still uncertain. The academy, which owned the property before selling it to Burlington City in 1955, bought back the land and buildings from the city school district for $450,000, records show."
  20. ^ "Quick Facts". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  21. ^ "Lower School". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  22. ^ "Upper School Handbook". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  23. ^ League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  24. ^ League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  25. ^ NJSIAA General Public School Classifications 2019–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  26. ^ "Doane Athletics". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  27. ^ Baseball, Penn-Jersey Athletic Association. Accessed September 29, 2020.
  28. ^ "Pennington (51) at Doane Academy (57), 2019 Prep B Tournament, Final - Boys Basketball", NJ Advance Media for, February 13, 2019, updated August 22, 2019. Accessed September 29, 2020. "Arian Gomez scored 15 points for Doane Academy in a 57-51 win against Pennington in the finals of the Prep B Tournament."
  29. ^ Gould, Brandon. "Doane Academy boys basketball overcomes foul trouble, wins Prep B title (PHOTOS)", NJ Advance Media for, February 24, 2022. Accessed March 17, 2022. "The fouls continued to pile up in the fourth quarter and with two of his stars already out of the game, the South Jersey coach subbed in his 11th player of the night with just a few minutes left in the Prep B final. Rookie Shane Congleton made the most of it and scored four points to help seal a 69-59 win. That victory over Princeton Day secured the second Prep B title in program history."
  30. ^ "Nelson Shanks". Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  31. ^ "Performing Arts". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  32. ^ "Band". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  33. ^ Antrim, Minna (1909). Naked Truth and Veiled Allusions.
  34. ^ "Muppets Most Wanted: Press Kit" Archived December 15, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, The Walt Disney Studios. Accessed June 6, 2014.
  35. ^ Goldberg, Lesley. "ABC Orders Shondaland and Jenna Bans Dramas, 'Muppets' Revival, More", The Hollywood Reporter, May 7, 2015. Accessed May 8, 2015.
  36. ^ "Commencement speech at Doane Academy 06-10-17" Archived December 21, 2021, at the Wayback Machine,, June 11, 2017. Accessed December 21, 2021. "I was honored to deliver a Commencement speech at my high school, Doane Academy."
  37. ^ Heller, Jules; Heller, Nancy G. North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary, p. 30. Routledge, 2013. ISBN 9781135638894. Accessed November 21, 2020. "Romaine Brooks grew up in Europe with her eccentric mother and mentally-ill older brother. She attended St. Mary's Hall (an Episcopalian school) in New Jersey, a convent school in Italy, and Mlle. Tavan's Finishing School in Geneva, Switzerland, before she began seriously the study of painting in Rome, Italy, at the Scuola Nazionale by day at the Circolo Artistico in the evening during the years from 1896 to 1899."
  38. ^ Laura C. S. Fessenden, Chicago Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Accessed December 21, 2021. "Laura Canfield Spencer Dayton was born in New York City, in the Dayton family home on Washington Square. She was educated at St. Mary’s Hall, Burlington, New Jersey."
  39. ^ "A History of the 23rd Regiment N.J. Vol. Infantry: Brevet Brig. General E. Burd Grubb", Delanco Township, New Jersey. Accessed November 21, 2020. "Edward Burd Grubb, Jr. was born in Burlington, New Jersey in 1841. He was educated at Burlington College, later named St. Mary's Hall-Doane Academy and graduated in 1860."
  40. ^ Derby, James Cephas. Fifty Years Among Authors, Books and Publishers, p. 570. G. W. Carleton & Company, 1884. Accessed May 15, 2017. "Mrs. Harris's second book was thought to be something of an autobiography, under the veil of fiction; it was entitled Louie's last Term at St Mary's. the author having been educated at that school at Burlington, N. J., under the supervision of the late Bishop Doane."
  41. ^ Andreas, Alferd Theodore. From the fire of 1871 until 1885, p. 637. A. T. Andreas, 1886. Accessed November 21, 2020. "Mrs. Sara Hershey-Eddy, musician, pianist and vocal, was born in Lancaster County, Penn., and is the daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth Hershey.... Upon leaving Philadelphia she went to St Mary's Hall, Burlington, N. J., where she remained a year and a half, when she came West with her parents to Muscatine, Iowa, and began teaching, going East at intervals for the purpose of study."
  42. ^ Colwell, Rita; McGrayne, Sharon Bertsch. A Lab of One's Own: One Woman's Personal Journey Through Sexism in Science, p. 49. Simon & Schuster, 2021. ISBN 9781501181290. Accessed December 21, 2021. "Huang was born in China, but when she was ten years old, her parents had sent her to the United States, alone, to be educated at an Episcopalian boarding school for girls in Burlington, New Jersey. Her father was an Episcopal bishop, and St. Mary's Hall (now Doane Academy) prided itself on being the first school in the United States to offer girls an academic education equal to that given to boys."
  43. ^ The Women's Project of New Jersey. Past and Promise: Lives of New Jersey Women, p. 161. Syracuse University Press, 1997. ISBN 9780815604181 Accessed January 29, 2020. "Alice Lakey, 1857-1935... Lakey was educated in public schools in Chicago until she was fourteen. Then the family moved to New York City, and she attended St. Mary's Hall in Burlington (Burlington County), NJ, from 1872 to 1874."
  44. ^ Shott, Meghan. Doane Academy, Accessed January 6, 2017. "Did you know that actress Judith Light was a 1966 graduate of St. Mary's Hall/Doane Academy? Light is best known for playing Angela on the TV show, Who's the Boss? co-starring with Tony Danza."
  45. ^ "Universal Peace Union Records (DG 038), Swarthmore College Peace Collection". Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  46. ^ "Emily Stevens", p. 312, The Theatre, Volumes 21-22, December 1915. Accessed November 21, 2020. "There had been layman's education in the Institute of the Holy Angels at Fort Lee, and of St. Mary's Hall, at Burlington, N. J."

External links[edit]