Lenox, Massachusetts is a small residential community nestled in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts.
The main building at Cranwell Prep was built in 1894 as a private residence on land once occupied by Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. The grounds were designed and landscaped by the same people who designed New York's Central Park. After going through several owners, the estate was donated to the Society of Jesus of New England by Edward Cranwell, with the stipulation that it be used as a private school for boys. Cranwell Preparatory School operated for about 35 years, finally closing in 1975.
Although Cranwell Prep was widely known for it's football and lacrosse teams, it seems that most alumni's stories of Cranwell Prep always include downhill skiing. There was a ski slope right on the school property and, in the later years at least, a diesel-powered rope tow. The ski slope partially overlapped the school's 18-hole golf course. It seems appropriate that the property is now a ski, spa and golf resort (see Web Links, below).
If you can provide us with any additional information about Cranwell Preparatory School, please email us. We would love to share your information with other visitors to this page.
Google Maps aerial view of Cranwell.
---- Reader Comments ----
Father Keegan who was one of the cross-country coaches when I was there, would stand at the top of the hill at the front of the school and bellow to us as we had to run up and down that blasted hill over and over again.
Father Grogan had "special mnemonics" for remembering every student's name. And if you received a good grade in his history class, you got to skip the final exam as you were on the "merry go round".
Fond memories of those years.
Andrew Weiss, Esq., President
6111 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, NE, Building D
Atlanta, Georgia 30328
Cranwell Preparatory School today.
Cranwell's Impact? by Tom Harvey
after dinner remarks; 50th reunion of the Class of 1957
Cranwell Resort 2007
Before I start let the record show I spent my first two years at Cranwell whining to my Dad, "get me out of here".
But now with 50 years of hindsight. What's been the impact of Cranwell on us and those around us?
- Today there are 430 Jesuit high schools in 55 countries. In these schools the Ignatian system of values is still being promoted. We can argue whether that's been compromised in recent decades.
- But still today Jesuit High School graduates are expected to have made commitments to values and should have acquired the self-discipline to live by these values. They should have developed competence in the skills of analysis, judgment and expression.
- They should know that theirs is a privileged position in a world where most people are poor. They should be "men and women for others", that is, the good things both material and spiritual which they want for themselves, they should want for others too.
- Jesuit education, which began in 1547, was committed to the service of faith and the education of men and women who reflect that faith in their daily lives
- So, what about little old Cranwell?
- Its 36 year history produced about 2000 alumni. Probably one third have passed on. So in a country of 300 million and a world of over 6 billion what difference can these, now fathers and grandfathers, have made?
- What are Cranwell Qualities? We all left Cranwell changed. I suggest mostly for the better.
- Jotting down my own random reflections on the qualities I may have picked up here.
Develop new interests and discuss important things; welcome debates, gather hard data, hone commo skills.
Remember your faith, resist secularism, always hold God in reverence.
Be willing to study, have self-discipline & do your homework.
Learning is important work and a life long process. Be curious.
Have a sense of personal accountability, encourage that in those around us.
Be aware of the social impact of bad behavior in our culture.
Impressed by the Godly men's men who surrounded us at Cranwell. No namby pamby types here.
Attack and debate serious issues of the day. Don't be frivolous with your time (no TV, not an accident).
Your talents are on loan, we have an obligation to use them for good.
Strive for excellence. Welcome competition.
Value loyalty. Ignatius of Loyola said "God does not require our success, he only demands our loyalty".
Appreciation for the sacrifices of our parents.
Respect for authority, while carefully watching for hypocrisy.
All these qualities I sometimes manifest I think I may have gotten some here and I honed them all here.
So what could be the Impact of only maybe 2,000 Cranwell alumni?
Well assuming normal marriage and fertility rates we may be talking about 3,500 children and maybe as many as 5,000 plus grandchildren. So in a few generations, Cranwell has influenced and touched more than 8,000 people around the world. 8,000 men and women who are making policy, leading companies, teaching others, raising families and influencing others at work, at church, in their neighborhood. Leading our fighting forces in dangerous places.
A lot of people saw our qualities and maybe copied a few of them... Haven't your heard them call you disciplined, focused, concerned more with facts than feelings, not just willing to debate issues but anxious to debate them... Seeing things in black & white, cutting thru the crap, not being intimidated... Willing to stand for principle when others fell away? Haven't you heard comments like this from some of your offspring? Is it possible a bit of that rubbed off on them?
I suggest in these times of secularism and moral relativity, of making your own rules and even making your own reality, there may be as many as 8,000 out there with a little bit of Cranwell in them… call it a bit of Father Cunniff in them.
and that's not bad thing...that's probably a very, good thing.
Tonight before you close your eyes. Thank God for the positive qualities we took away from Cranwell. They have served us well and maybe, just maybe, there are others out there with a bit of Cranwell in their character... which they saw and copied from you.
and that's not bad thing...that's probably a very, very good thing!
Our Cranwell Preparatory School apparel would make a great gift. Or be the coolest person at the next reunion by wearing a Cranwell Preparatory School Alumni shirt or jacket.
Please, send us your Cranwell Preparatory School memories. We will post them on this page for your classmates to enjoy.
If your Cranwell Preparatory School class has a reunion committee, please send them a link to this page and ask them to "get the word out".
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