Malvern Preparatory School - History

History

Malvern Prep was founded as a preparatory academy on the campus of Villanova University in 1842 at the Belle-Aire farm, which the Augustinian order purchased in January 1842. The academy was named "St. Nicholas of Tolentine Academy" in 1901.

In 1922, due to the expansion of Villanova's college program and increasing distinctions being made between the attendees of the academy and the college, it was decided to remove the academy from Villanova's campus. The Rosengarten family of Malvern sold a 143 acre (579,000 m²) part of its old farm between Warren Avenue and Paoli Pike to the Augustinians, and the academy became Malvern Preparatory School. The property included the site of the Paoli Massacre, a Revolutionary War battlefield that Malvern Prep owned until 2000, when it was purchased by the federal government. Only two original buildings were suitable for classes and are still preserved; these are the original farmhouse (Austin Hall) and another farm building (the Friary, or Alber's Hall). Three new buildings were built in 1924 to house the need for more space. The first graduating class of Malvern Prep, who were almost all boarders, graduated in 1927.

Malvern Prep reached 200 students in 1953 and went through another construction phase, erecting six new buildings in the next eight years. Over the next twenty years, the number of boarders decreased, eventually to zero; the school is now entirely a day school. Malvern Prep has undergone several new constructions in recent years with a new art center named in honor of former president, Reverend David Duffy and a new outdoor athletic complex bearing the name of legendary former football coach Gamp Pellegrini. The school had erected a new indoor sports center (O'Neill Sports Center), a dining hall (Stewart Hall, which is actually a previously existing building, Villanova Hall), and several athletic fields in the early 2000s.

In 1956 Devon Preparatory School opened in Devon, PA. Throughout the years Malvern has consistently outscored Devon in terms of standardized testing, percentage of graduates attaining higher degrees and Malvern alumni earn an average of 18% more than graduates of Devon Prep.

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