History and Mission

The Hun School Mission

The Hun School provides a diverse community that places a high value on a creative and rigorous traditional college preparatory curriculum in a structured environment; develops character, community and values; meets the students’ differing talents, interests and academic needs through a supportive staff in a variety of programs; and encourages students to widen their horizons, gain an appreciation for and an excitement about learning and achieve their full potential.

The Hun School History

Any one of our current students or graduates could tell you different accounts of their experiences at The Hun School. Our history is made up of these tales resulting from learning and living in an environment where academic offerings, extracurricular activities, and athletics help realize the individual.

The foundation for The Hun School of Princeton was laid in 1914 by Dr. John Gale Hun, a professor of Mathematics at Princeton University. As a result of success working with and tutoring his own students, he decided to open the Princeton Math School, a school dedicated to preparing students for entrance into the nation’s top colleges. Soon renamed The Princeton Tutoring School, Dr. Hun expanded the School’s disciplines to include all areas of college-preparatory work. Distinguished for the quality of its teachers and the thorough preparation of its students, Dr. Hun's School reflected his own high standards and his abiding faith in young people.

Because the School soon outgrew its in-town quarters, Dr. Hun purchased property on Stockton Street in 1920. There, he constructed a new school complex with facilities for 150 boarding students. Renamed The Hun School of Princeton in 1925, the School prospered for the next twenty years under John Hun's supervision. In l925, the School acquired forty-five acres of the former Russell Estate on Edgerstoune Road. There in 1930, Dr. Hun constructed a Junior School Building. In 1942, the Upper School was moved from Stockton Street to the Edgerstoune campus. In 1943, the Hun School of Princeton was incorporated as a non-profit institution under the direction of a Board of Trustees.

If a student had an intellect, but didn’t know how to use it, Grandfather would give him the individual attention necessary to prosper. Sometimes he was even willing to pay their education bills.

Susan McAllen Turner
granddaughter to Dr. John Gale Hun, founder

In 1951, Dr. Paul R. Chesebro, who had served the School as a resident tutor, Assistant Principal, and Assistant Headmaster, assumed the Headmastership. For the next twenty-five years, under his able direction, the School expanded and prospered. Enrollment climbed to 500 students for the first time in 1975. In 1971, female students were admitted. The Middle School, grades seven and eight, was established in 1973, with a sixth grade added in 1977. During the Chesebro years, six major buildings were constructed: Poe Dormitory (1959), the Dining Hall (1959), Carter Dormitory (1964), Chesebro Academic Center (1964), the Gymnasium (1968), and the Student Center (1974), also housing the Middle School, later names the Alexander K. Buck Activities Center (1987). Despite the dramatic increase in enrollment and facilities, the focus of the educational program remained on the individual student and his particular needs.

The School’s third significant expansion occurred in the 1980s. With the enrollment around 580 students, new facilities were added to enhance the educational, athletic and social life of the students. An all-weather track (1980), the Ralph S. Mason House (1984), the Dingman Center for Science and Technology and the Sellon Information center (1987) all contributed to enriched opportunities for young people to grow as members of The Hun School “family.”

Dr. James Byer ’62 was selected as the Headmaster beginning in 1994. Dr. Byer was formerly a teacher and dean of students at Hun, principal of the Upper School at Pine Crest School in Florida, and headmaster of Nova University School in Florida. Under Dr. Byer's leadership The Hun School facility continued to grow with the renovation of the Dining Hall (2001), the addition to the Sellon Information Center (2002), the addition of The Heart of Hun (2004), the new Shipley Athletic Pavilion (2007), and the Landis Family Fine Arts Building (2008). Dr. Byer retired from The Hun School of Princeton in June, 2009 after fifteen years of service as the Headmaster.

In December 2008, The Hun School of Princeton announced that Jonathan G. Brougham was selected as the next Headmaster of The Hun School. Mr. Brougham previously served as the Head of the Upper School at the Collegiate School in Richmond, VA. An Installation Ceremony was held on September 14, 2009 at which time Mr. Brougham was formally invested as the Tenth Headmaster of The Hun School of Princeton.

The School remains distinguished for the quality of its students, the strength of its faculty, the continuing commitment to excellence and the development of individual potential.