History and Mission

Our Mission

Newark Academy will contribute to the world engaged individuals instilled with a passion for learning, a standard of excellence, and a generosity of spirit.

Building for Belonging since 1774

Newark Academy was founded in 1774 by a group of civic leaders led by the Presbyterian cleric Alexander MacWhorter, a friend and advisor to George Washington. In the course of the Revolutionary War, the Academy’s sympathies to our fledgling nation incurred the wrath of the British, who marched across the frozen Hudson River and burned the original school building to the ground. Not to be deterred, the school rebuilt, flourished, and continued to emphasize its motto: Ad Lumen (Toward Enlightenment). From its beginning, Newark Academy was a unique college preparatory school in that it opened its doors to students from a wide-range of backgrounds, offered courses in trades and business skills, and even maintained a division for young women for a time.

The Academy occupied four sites in the city of Newark before moving to its present 68-acre location in Livingston in 1964. Newark Academy became fully coeducational in 1972. Over the years, the Academy has expanded its facilities, with the addition of the Hawkes Memorial Library, the McGraw Arts Center, the Simon Family Field House, the Carol Heaney Nature Trail, the Petrello Upper School Academic Center, Kacur Field, the Wilf Middle School and the Coraci Performance Hall are remarkable resources for its 600 students and the entire NA community.

Today, Newark Academy continues to move forward, building its endowment to sustain the school’s mission in perpetuity and planning strategically for further facility and program growth. Yet even as Newark Academy continues evolving, the vision of the school’s founders remains intact: to be an inclusive learning community, where students are empowered by an exceptional faculty dedicated to encouraging innovative and critical thinking, global perspectives, strong character, and commitment to service.


List of 15 items.

  • 1774

    Newark Academy established in Newark, New Jersey.
  • 1780

    Newark Academy burned by a raiding party of British troops.
  • 1792

    New building erected on Broad Street in Newark.
  • 1857

    Newark Academy moves to its third location on the intersections of High, William and Shipman Streets.
  • 1929

    Newark Academy moves to First Street in Newark.
  • 1964

    Newark Academy moves to its 68-acre campus in Livingston, New Jersey.
  • 1971

    First class of girls admitted.
  • 1991

    International Baccalaureate degree added.
  • 1992

    Elizabeth McGraw Arts Center completed.
  • 2001

    Simon Family Field House completed.
  • 2012

    Upper School Academic Center completed.
  • 2013

    First graduating class completes the Immersion Experience requirement.
  • 2016

    Renovation of outdoor athletic facilities – including Kacur Field and Coursen Field completed.
  • 2017

    Wilf Middle School completed.
  • 2020

    Coraci Performance Hall completed.
An independent school for students in grades 6-12