Our History

List of 66 items.

  • APRIL 1892

    William Nichols invited from Boston to found boys’ college preparatory school in Buffalo, NY.
  • SEPTEMBER 26 1892

    Opening of Nichols School in the Westminster Church Sunday School rooms. Later in autumn school moves to new house at 35 Norwood Avenue.
  • 1896-1900

    Coordinate programs with the Franklin School.
  • 1907

    William Nichols dies. School suffers enrollment difficulties.
  • 1908

    John J. Albright spearheads group to rescue school.
  • 1909

    Amherst campus purchased for $87,500. Construction begins on Albright Hall and the old gymnasium (now the new Middle School building). E.B. Green, architect. Joseph Dana Allen is appointed second Headmaster. He establishes country-day philosophy, fostering academic, athletic, and moral growth of students.
  • JANUARY 11 1910

    First day of classes on the Amherst campus.
  • 1910

    Verdian first published.
  • 1917

    Walter D. Head appointed third Headmaster. Placed School on solid financial footing.
  • 1918

    Cum Laude Society awards Nichols its thirteenth chapter.
  • 1919

    Nichols News established. The first indoor hockey rink is built for $40,000 of private donations.
  • 1919-1923

    Dormitory at 290 Woodward Ave houses 6 boys.
  • 1920

    First Christmas luncheon under newly formed Alumni Association.
  • 1922

    Growing enrollment leads to decision to construct new building. School's first public capital campaign, led by Trustee George A. Mitchell, raises $134,000.
  • APRIL 1925

    Mitchell Hall, housing the Rand Dining Room and the McNutt Library, is opened after three days of celebration.
  • 1925

    Thurston J. Davies appointed the fourth Headmaster. Enriches life of steadily growing student body: charities, government, athletics, and drama. Interstate League begins play.
  • 1926

    The Gleaner publishes its first issue. Potter Field acquired.
  • 1929

    Mitchell Gratwick '17 appointed the fifth Headmaster. He continues earlier initiatives during his short tenure. Chapel is built in Albright Hall.
  • 1930

    Edmund P. Cottle room and prize established.
  • 1931

    Henry Gibbs Gilland appointed the sixth Headmaster. Oversees difficult period of the Depression, with falling enrollment, financial problems, and internal strains.
  • 1932

    Depression forces a 15% pay cut for faculty, with further reductions the following year.
  • 1937

    Philip M.B. Boocock '22 named the seventh Headmaster. Ushers in a period of academic strength, rising enrollments, financial stability, improved facilities, a growing national reputation, and institutional self-confidence.
  • 1938

    Rink is renovated and ice surface lengthened.
  • APRIL 24 1942

    Official celebration of the School's fiftieth year.
  • 1947

    Fund drive to lower the mortgage raises almost $100,000.
  • 1957

    New gym opens.
  • 1959

    Major faculty study of Nichols and curriculum is undertaken.
  • 1963

    Moot Science building is completed at a cost of $250,000.
  • 1964

    Dann Memorial Rink opens. Knox Squash Courts are inaugurated. First minority students admitted.
  • 1969

    Christopher Wadsworth appointed eighth Headmaster following retirement of Philip Boocock.
  • 1970

    Faculty Program Development Committee (PDC) issues its report on the School and curriculum. Coordinate programs with Buffalo Seminary and Nottingham Academy.
  • 1971

    Work program established. Parents' Council begins as the Mothers' Committee.
  • JANUARY 22 1972

    Acquisition of Nottingham Academy is approved by Trustees.
  • 1973

    Nichols becomes coeducational. "New Directions for Nichols" capital campaign is launched, and by 1976, a total of $2.34 million is achieved. Renovations completed on the Amherst and Nottingham campuses.
  • 1974

    The Class of 1974 is Nichols' first co-ed graduating class. Ann Keiffer is hired to create the drama department. The first Nichols Nearly New Sale takes place.
  • 1979

    Arthur H. Kiendl appointed ninth Headmaster.
  • 1981

    Peter W. Cobb appointed tenth Headmaster.
  • 1982

    Foreign exchange programs with France and Spain begin.
  • 1984

    "Price of Excellence" capital campaign is launched. Over $3 million is raised, including the E. Howard Roth $1 million gift. Randwood science classrooms are completed. Eighth grade is moved to the Nottingham campus.
  • 1987

    Student choreography added into the curriculum.
  • 1989

    Fifth grade classrooms completed on second floor of Randwood wing.
  • 1992

    Nichols Centennial is celebrated throughout the school year. Athletic Hall of Fame established. Dr. John Sessions '62 authors Nichols School: A Century of Tradition and Change, 1892-1991.
  • 1993

    "Campaign for Excellence" begins with a goal of $6.5 million. Plans for new Performing Arts center are unveiled. Faculty Academic Subcommittee begins year-long study.
  • 1994

    Richard C. Bryan appointed eleventh Headmaster. Campus renovations undertaken.
  • 1995

    Foreign exchange program in Costa Rica began. Groundbreaking on Glen and Awdry Flickinger Performing Arts Center.
  • 1996

    "Campaign for Excellence" finishes at $8.1 million.
  • 1997

    Glen and Awdry Flickinger Performing Arts Center is dedicated in February. Austin Fox endowed faculty chair is established and awarded to Dick Stratton. Technology plan initiated. Campus study on consolidation is undertaken by the Board.
  • 1998

    Second Induction ceremony for Nichols Athletic Hall of Fame. Annual Giving passes $500,000. Board of Trustees vote in June to consolidate the two campuses, relocating the Middle School to the Amherst campus.
  • 1999

    Began "One Community" campaign.
  • 2000

    Groundbreaking for One Community project: to consolidate the campuses and build new Middle School on the Amherst Campus, to increase the endowment, and to provide funds for enhanced technology.
  • 2001

    Middle School and Scully Athletic Complex open. Technology Network completed. Third Induction Ceremony for Nichols Athletic Hall of Fame. Regan Hall is dedicated.
  • 2002

    Donaldson Hall is dedicated. "One Community" campaign reaches $14 million. Albert Sutter endowed faculty chair is established and awarded to Steve Moscov.
  • 2003

    United Church Home property is acquired, which adds 6.4 acres of adjacent land. Fourth Induction Ceremony for Athletic Hall of Fame.
  • 2004

    Core Competencies for the 21st century are adopted by the faculty after the August Colloquium.
  • 2005

    Fifth Induction Ceremony for Nichols Athletic Hall of Fame.
  • 2007

    New athletic turf fields are completed. Sixth Induction Ceremony for Nichols Athletic Hall of Fame.
  • 2008

    Roadways and parking renovations are completed. "Nicholsfuture.org" campaign publicly launched. Strauss-Truscott Field is dedicated. Ground breaking for the new math/science/technology center takes place. The Graham Smith endowed faculty chair for English is established and awarded to Larry Desautels.
  • 2010

    Class of 1963 Center for Science and Mathematics opens. Exchange with Wuhan, China begins. "Nicholsfuture.org" campaign finishes over goal at $24.3 million. Seventh induction ceremony for Athletic Hall of Fame.
  • 2011

    Renovation of Albright and Mitchell Halls completed, creating Upper School fine arts studios and new student spaces. Endowment passes $25 million.
  • 2012

    Moot Hall is demolished.
  • 2013

    William P. Clough appointed twelfth Head of School.
  • 2014

    Eighth Induction Ceremony for Athletic Hall of Fame. Robotics team added to curriculum.
  • 2015

    The Nichols Fund surpasses the $1,000,000 goal for the first time.
  • 2018

    Ninth Induction Ceremony for Athletics Hall of Fame
  • 2019

    Christopher Burner appointed thirteenth Head of School.

    New Student Commons facility opens.
  • 2020

    Student Commons building is dedicated to the Class of 2020, for their perseverance and leadership during extraordinary times.

About Us

Nichols School is a nationally recognized college preparatory coed independent school with a 130-year history.
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