Mission and History

Frederick Winsor wanted the school he founded in 1901 to be distinct from the boarding schools of the time, and from its beginnings, Middlesex School has occupied a unique place in the independent school landscape.

It is a non-sectarian School with a positive sense of tradition and mission.  It is a school with small-school intimacy and big-school opportunity, a school that early on sought students from every part of the country through a National Scholarship Program.  As it has grown, Middlesex has broadened its national and international reach while always benefiting from its local surroundings—the human and cultural capital of the Boston/Cambridge area.

Middlesex School, both in the present and in the past, has preferred capacity in many areas to specialization in one.  We believe a transparent and familiar community is an ethical community.  We believe in our students.  From the start, Winsor’s mission was to “find the promise that lies hidden” in every student, and that message of individuality, hope, and possibility guides us today.  

Our campus, designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm, remains centered on its iconic circle.  We are fortunate to live in a beautiful setting that naturally brings our paths and our lives together.  Radiating from a common sense of place and purpose, Middlesex continues to prepare its students for a changing world.

We have evolved in many ways since our founding over a century ago. We have undergone renovation, conservation, expansion, and constant transition in person and place.  Yet our buildings, our fields, our programs, and our ethos still cleave to a human scale fostering collegiality and contact.  Despite the school’s continuous transformation, our mission, with our students at the center, remains the same.

Middlesex School Mission Statement

Middlesex School is an independent, non-denominational, residential, college-preparatory school that, for over one hundred years, has been committed to excellence in the intellectual, ethical, creative, and physical development of young people.  We honor the ideal, articulated by our founding Headmaster, of “finding the promise” in every student, and we work together in an atmosphere of mutual trust and shared responsibility to help students bring their talents to fruition as knowledgeable, capable, responsible and moral citizens of the world.  As a community, we respect the individual interests, strengths, and needs of each student. We also value the rich diversity of belief and experience each of us brings to the School.

  We expect that each student will bring his or her best efforts to the shared endeavor of learning and that the School, through its faculty, will engage and encourage each student’s growth, happiness, and well-being.  We aspire for all Middlesex students to develop personal integrity, intellectual vitality and discipline, and respect for themselves and for others.  We expect each student to engage energetically and cooperatively in the life of the School, and we seek to inspire in all students the desire to seek understanding of themselves and the larger world, both now and in their futures.