Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s School (known colloquially as Rowland Hall) is Utah’s oldest independent coeducational college-preparatory day school. Since 1867, when the Episcopal Church founded our school, our roots have grown deep into a community where academic achievement, service to others, appreciation for the arts, and ethical development are highly valued.
St. Mark’s Grammar School for boys was established in 1867 as Utah’s first educational institution; then in 1880, Rowland Hall, an all-girls boarding school, was founded to educate the daughters of miners and ranchers in the Intermountain West. The Episcopal Church continued to sponsor both schools until 1948 when the school became independent. While Rowland Hall is no longer an Episcopal school, our school today proudly honors its historic relationship with the Episcopal Church.
In 1964, St. Mark’s and Rowland Hall merged and committed to jointly continuing both institutions’ traditions of academic excellence. To this day, the mission of our founders remains the same: to “inspire students to lead productive lives through a college-preparatory program that promotes the pursuit of academic and personal excellence.”
For over a century, Rowland Hall occupied a historic campus on one city block in Salt Lake City’s Avenues neighborhood. Increased interest in quality education and small class size caused a surge of growth during the 1980s, so Middle School and Upper School students were moved to a renovated public school building on Lincoln Street in 1984. A new Middle School facility was completed in the summer of 1994 and is connected to the Upper School where the students share access to the Larimer Center for the Performing Arts, the library and media center, the gymnasium, the cafeteria, and other educational resources.
As the school’s program and student body continued to outgrow the beloved Avenues Campus, trustees purchased nine acres of land on Guardsman Way and a capital campaign was launched in 1999 to raise funds to build a new home for the school’s youngest students. As a result, the Philip G. McCarthey Campus opened its doors on December 2, 2002. In addition to its spacious classrooms and outdoor play areas, the McCarthey Campus features a computer lab, a science lab with indoor and outdoor exploration areas, the Steiner Library, St. Margaret’s Chapel, light-filled art and music studios, and a dining hall. The Beginning School is housed in its own “little red schoolhouse” adjoined by a large motor-skills gymnasium just for our youngest students. The McCarthey Campus field house and soccer field are used by Lower School students for physical education and by many of the school’s sports teams for practices and games.
In 2013 the school broke ground for a new campus that will one day unite all divisions of the school—the Richard R. Steiner Campus. Athletic fields for Winged Lions soccer teams were finished in the spring of 2013, and fundraising continues for the future phases of the project. The 13.2-acre property that will house the new campus for the middle and upper schools is immediately adjacent to the western edge of the McCarthey Campus.
Rowland Hall is proud of past accomplishments, and administrators, faculty, and trustees continue to plan and implement improvements to ensure ongoing academic excellence. This could not be accomplished without the generosity and loyalty of current and past parents and alumni. For their support—past, present, and future—we are extremely grateful.
Rowland Hall is accredited by the following organizations:
Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS)
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
The Northwest Accreditation Commission
Utah Department of Education
NWAIS accreditation requires adherence to the highest standards of operation and best practices, and a commitment to their mission. The following core values guide the association’s interactions, services, and accreditation standards. These core values are essential to assisting schools in providing high-quality education for children.