How Marvelwood Got its Unique Name

When Robert Bodkin and Ian Hanna founded The Marvelwood School in 1956, there was much discussion, of course, about what to call the school, including The Cornwall School. Marvelwood was an estate belonging to friends of Mr. Hanna’s family in New Haven, Connecticut. It was named for the popular 19th century American writer, Donald Grant Mitchell, who wrote such works as Reveries of a Bachelor and Dream Life under the pseudonym Ik Marvel- inspired by 17th century English poet Andrew Marvell. After some debate between the two founders, they decided on The Marvelwood School. Though the name was considerably less preppy-sounding than the established schools of the day- Taft, Hotchkiss, St. Pauls, Choate- it fit their mission to create a traditional boarding school for young men who, according the Mr. Bodkin, “had not yet discovered how to make the most of themselves.” The majority of the former Marvelwood estate is now part of the Yale University Golf Course, although Marvelwood Drive still exists as a street in New Haven. In Kent, The Marvelwood School is thriving and looking forward to the next 60 years of educating and impacting the lives of young people.