Friday, October 17, 2014

Revisiting Lawrenceville School and Other Prep School Campuses and Endowments

In their 1991 book Blacks in the White Establishment?: A Study of Race and Class in America, Richard Zweigenhaft and G. William Domhoff wrote the following in reference to the tax-exempt and "non-profit" Lawrenceville School prep school:

"...With the exception of the specific geographic location, the following description of the Lawrenceville School could apply to many American boarding schools: `The school is located on 330 magnificently landscaped acres of New Jersey countryside just five miles south of Princeton. Its physical plant--including a nine-hole golf course, mammoth field house and covered hockey rink, library of some 23,000 volumes, science building, arts center with 900-seat auditorium and professionally equipped stage--would be the envy of most colleges.'

"Most colleges would be pleased to have Lawrenceville's endowment as well. In 1983, Lawrenceville and the other 15 prep schools that make up Baltzell's select 16 had a combined endowment of $381 million, and their physical plants were valued at about the same amount...`In effect,' Cookson and Persell claim, `the combined real estate holdings of American boarding schools represent a "Prep National Park," a preserve free from state and local taxes...' 

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