Landon School was founded in 1929 by Paul Landon Banfield and his wife, Mary Lee Banfield. The school started in a converted mansion in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s embassy row.
More than eight decades later, Landon School steadfastly adheres to its founders’ commitment to boys’ education and their long-held belief in the importance of challenging academics, daily arts and athletics, and strong values. While Landon School has expanded and continuously evolved, the school has remained true to the vision of its founders.
1929 — Paul Landon Banfield and his wife, Mary Lee, open Landon School at 2131 Massachusetts Ave. NW, in Washington, D.C., with 22 students.
1934 — Landon School moves to the Walsh McLean estate (Whitehall) at the corner of Bradley Blvd. and Wilson Lane in Bethesda, Maryland.
1936 — Landon School purchases the Andrews estate at 6101 Wilson Lane, where the school stands today. Classes for Grades 3–6 remain in Whitehall until 1940.
1939 — Landon boys win their first IAC championship. It’s for baseball. In the years that follow, they win an IAC title every year except three.
1940 — Following the completion of the new Perkins Gymnasium, the Lower School building is constructed.
1943 — Albert Rogers is wartime acting headmaster. Landon conducts three graduations the next year (February, June and August) for students heading off to war.
1948 — Gladys Georgia becomes Landon’s first full-time art teacher, expanding the school’s arts offerings from music and theater to the studio arts.
1954 — The public is invited to tour the newly acquired Perkins Memorial Azalea Garden, and the annual Azalea Garden Festival, a scholarship fundraiser, is born.
1961 — The Lower School building is dedicated to longtime Lower School Head Clyde T. Wilson.
1963 — Landon Upper School students propose and adopt an Honor Code defining their own conduct.
1968 — Landon School fields its first lacrosse team with Coach Sullivan. Participants are in Grades 5 and 6.
1970 — Founder and Headmaster Paul L. Banfield retires, and Hugh C. Riddleberger is named Landon School’s second headmaster.
1971 — With only 15 boys in the dorm, the Boarding Department closes at the end of the school year.
1981 — Hugh C. Riddleberger retires; Malcolm Coates is named Landon School’s third headmaster.
1988 — Landon wins its first IAC Founder’s Cup.
1989 — The Mondzac Performing Arts Center opens with an auditorium (named for Malcolm Coates), music classrooms, rehearsal space and a dining room.
1990 — Malcolm Coates retires; Damon F. Bradley is named Landon’s fourth headmaster.
1992 — A course in humanities is installed for juniors, combining English and history in an interdisciplinary study of the foundations of Western civilization.
2000 — Landon opens a new Middle School for Grades 6–8, which includes a library, science laboratories and art studios.
2002 — The school adds a Civility Code to the core principles that govern our behavior as members of a community dedicated to the inclusion of all.
2004 — Damon F. Bradley retires; David M. Armstrong is named the school’s fifth headmaster. Landon celebrates its 75th graduating class.
2008 — Landon adopts a Code of Character, which raises civility to the level of honor; the Joshua M. Freeman ’83 Center for Athletic Achievement opens, providing a new fitness center and wrestling facility.
2013 — Landon celebrates its 60th Azalea Garden Festival and plans for its 85th anniversary.
2014 — Landon celebrates its 85th anniversary. The Landon United capital campaign comes to a close having raised more than $51 million for the school, the most successful fundraising initiative in Landon history.
2015 — Headmaster David M. Armstrong steps down to lead the International Boys’ School Coalition (IBSC); Jim Neill becomes Landon’s sixth headmaster.