The mission of Marianapolis Preparatory School is to educate students in the Catholic tradition of academic excellence, with a commitment to an active faith in God and a dedication to building character with content, compassion, and integrity.
Marianapolis was established in 1926 under the sponsorship of the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception. Originally called St. Mary’s College, the school embraced a mission of preparing young men to take leadership roles in society and the Catholic Church.
In 1933, the school name changed to Marianapolis College, and by 1936, the State of Connecticut empowered the institution to confer college degrees. As the student body grew to include scholars from multiple countries, the school evolved into a dynamic college environment. The 1930s brought about the first graduating classes, the first Marianapolis fraternity, the first Alumni Association meetings, and the expansion of the athletic program.
During World War II, the Marianapolis administration determined that the school should become a preparatory school exclusively. 1946 marked the last year that the school conferred college degrees. In 1948, Marianapolis students were dubbed the “Golden Knights.” Marianapolis Preparatory School was accredited by the New England Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges in 1955, and admission became increasingly selective with the introduction of an entrance exam two years later.
By 1960, the school had held its first Rake Day and had established teams in football, basketball, soccer, golf, cross country, track, and tennis. 1963 was a dynamic year for the school that included the dedication of St. John’s hall and the advent of Marianapolis’ first summer session. In the following year, however, the school suffered the loss of St. Joseph’s hall, its main academic building, during a catastrophic fire. The Marianapolis community rallied tremendous support in order to construct a new academic complex by 1965. Shortly thereafter, the school’s growth continued, as a new athletics center was constructed and dedicated by 1968.
The school became coeducational in 1974, opening with 108 students, 8 of whom were female. By 1975, female enrollment increased substantially, and women began competing on their own interscholastic athletics teams. The school population has continued to grow and diversify throughout the new millennium; enrollment has remained steadily at about half-male, half-female.
In August of 2001, the Trinity Foundation (a group of parents, alumni, and friends) assumed governance of the school and appointed Marilyn Ebbitt as Headmistress. Significant campus expansion continued, including the acquisition and renovation of dormitories and the development of the theatre, the dance studio, and many school programs. The Trinity Foundation named Joseph Hanrahan Head of School in July of 2011.