About

History

St. Albans opened its doors to 34 students in the fall of 1909. A bequest of Harriet Lane Johnston (1830-1903), the niece and first lady of President James Buchanan, had provided for the establishment of the all-boys School and for a scholarship fund for choristers at the future Washington National Cathedral.

The campus of the National Cathedral School for boys, as the school was first known, consisted of the Lane-Johnston Building, which housed everything: the dorm, classrooms, the refectory, and the headmaster’s study and apartment. In December of that year, the bishop deemed the Little Sanctuary, then a repository for furnishings for the future Cathedral, the school’s chapel.
Thirty-one year old Earl Lamont Gregg, a former teacher and head of the Racine College Grammar School in Racine, Wisconsin, served as the first headmaster.

Many school activities popular today trace back to these early years, when students published a weekly journal called the Albanian and a school newspaper. Athletics—coached almost exclusively by faculty—emphasized the general well-being of students; the small size of the school meant that every boy played a sport every season. The dormitory had forty beds. The student council included members of each Upper School form; senior prefects supervised student behavior and acted, in the words of one of the first prefects, “as student leaders in the broadest sense of the word.” Students and teachers gathered each day for a family-style lunch in the refectory. Prize Day and Blue-White Field Day also date to this era

To learn more about St. Albans and the wonderful teachers who taught here, read our illustrated history: St. Albans School: The First Hundred Years (available in our libraries or for purchase through the Communications Office).
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.