BY MARCIA WORTH-BAKER
At 150, Peddie
Readies a Party
THE YEAR WAS 1872. The New Jersey
Classical and Scientific Institute, a Baptist preparatory school founded just
eight years earlier in Hightstown, was
on shaky financial ground. Enrollment
was down, and the school was suffering
from a severe lack of funds.
A white knight was needed—and
one materialized in the person of
Thomas B. Peddie. The son of a Baptist preacher, Peddie had
immigrated to Newark from his native Edinburgh in 1833.
After apprenticing as a saddle maker, he made his fortune in
leather goods, particularly valises.
Moved by the school’s plight and his commitment to Baptist
values, Peddie stepped up with a $25,000 donation. That gave the
school a new lease on life and a new name: the Peddie Institute.
“Thomas Peddie saved the school,” says Peter McClellan,
teacher and alumnus of what is now the Peddie School. Now
co-ed and non-denominational, Peddie School enrollment totals
about 550 students, mostly in grades
9 through 12. Each year, it draws students from more than 20 states and
nearly 30 foreign countries.
Over the course of its 150 years, Peddie School alumni have
included Olympic athletes B.J. Bedford and Nelson Diebel—both
gold-medal swimmers—and publisher and diplomat Walter Annenberg. Following Thomas Peddie’s example, Annenberg in
1993 gave $100 million to the school, said to be the largest donation ever made to a U.S. secondary school at that time.
HATS OFF: Members of the
Peddie School class of 1886.
“Our dreams have grown,”
since those early days, says
headmaster Peter Quinn.
WE FIX THE HEARTS
Morristown Medical Center performs more cardiac surgeries than any other hospital
in New Jersey placing us in the top 2% of all cardiac surgery programs in the country.
And we’re one of only 20 hospitals in the nation that offer all available options for
heart valve repair and replacement. Oh, by the way, we’re also #1 in the treatment of
congestive heart failure and bypass surgery, according to New Jersey doctors.