In early 1893, a group of Chattanooga businessmen set out to find an educator who could open a college preparatory school for "the young men of the city." Their search leads them to John Roy Baylor, a graduate of the University of Virginia. On September 12, 1893, Baylor's University School opens in an old house in downtown Chattanooga with a student body of 31 boys ranging in age from 10 to 17. The tuition was $100.
In 1915 the school moved to its present location overlooking the Tennessee River. The move to the new campus was spearheaded by local businessman John Thomas Lupton, whose family amassed a fortune through their Coca-Cola bottling companies. One year later students adopted a formal Honor Code that is still in effect to this day.
Throughout its history Baylor has been a leader in academics and innovation in education. In 1964, Baylor became the only school in the South invited to participate in the national experiment known as the School and College Study of admissions with Advanced Standing, which later became know as Advanced Placement. Today, the school offers 22 AP courses and several faculty members are selected to serve as AP exam readers each year.
In 1976 the nationally acclaimed Walkabout outdoor program began the tradition of taking seniors on a two-week climbing, rafting, and backpacking trip in lieu of final exams. Known as the Senior Trip, it has since become the cornerstone of the Walkabout program. Seniors spend the last eight days of their Baylor careers on a wilderness adventure that includes a service component with the National Forest Service.
Over the years Baylor has evolved from a non-military school, to a military school, and back to a non-military school in 1971. With the exception of a brief period from 1900-1911, Baylor was an all-male school, until 1985 when the shift to co-education took place. Today, Baylor enrolls students in grades 6-12. Our boarding program draws students from around the country and the world, who are attracted to the school by a strong academic program, diverse extracurricular activities, and a nurturing residential atmosphere.