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125th Anniversary

Calhoun's 125th Anniversary

Honoring our past. Open to our future.

Since its founding in 1896 by educator Laura Jacobi, The Calhoun School has sought to excite and inspire its students, foster a close-knit community, and shape the next generation of changemakers and leaders. 

Calhoun has evolved over the past 125 years, but our commitment to student empowerment, community engagement and a forward-looking education has been ongoing.Our 125th anniversary year, celebrated during the 2021-22 school year, was a time to honor our rich history and come together as a community. Calhoun is the school it is today because of the students, educators and families who have shaped it. As we reflect on where we’ve been, we are open to the future that we will build together. 

Explore Our History


Calhoun was founded by educator Laura Jacobi in 1896. The genesis of the Jacobi School (renamed in 1924 for Jacobi's successor Mary Calhoun) came in part from families who were excluded from many traditional school alternatives and yet still wanted a strong academic foundation for their daughters. 


The name of the school was changed to The Calhoun School in honor of Mary Edwards Calhoun, Headmistress until 1942.


After World War II, Elizabeth Parmelee and Beatrice Cosmey became Co-Headmistresses of Calhoun.


In 1963, the first Spring Fair (now called the Calhoun Carnival) was sponsored by the Parents Association.


The Middle and Upper Schools became co-educational in 1971.


In the early 1970s, Calhoun broke ground on a new school building at the current 81st Street site. 


The last all-girls class graduated from Calhoun in 1975.


The opening of the Robert L. Beir Lower School building on West 74th Street for preschool through first grade met expanding enrollment needs.


Calhoun celebrated its Centennial in the 1996/1997 academic year.


In 1999, Calhoun announced a major building campaign to expand the 81st Street site.


Calhoun underwent a renovation in 2014 that expanded the footprint of the first floor to accommodate the new Calhoun Commons–a multipurpose space for lunch/food service as well as community gatherings and events.