top of page


Baltimore City College, as it is known today, was founded on October 20, 1839.

School Motto

Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat (Honor to the one who earns it)

School Mascot


School colors

Black and Orange

School Song/
Alma Mater

“Castle on the Hill”

How firm she stands with tower high,

Our Castle on the Hill.

For we have pledged our faith to you,

To ever do your will.

Forever let us praise your name,

Forever let us be,

The stalwart knights of City College,

Dear old BCC.


Forever will her banner fly;

her torch burn ever bright;

And will we follow its broad beam,

which guides us in the right;

Forever let us praise her name and

proudly boast to be

The stalwart knights of City College,

Dear old B.C.C.



“City Forever” 

City forever,

We’ll praise her to the skies.

We’ll fight for old City

Until we do or die.

Rah!  Rah!  Rah!


Dear alma mater

Loyal we’ll always be.

City forever

And for victory.


Pledge of Allegiance (in Latin)*

Fidem meam obligo

Vexillo civitatium Americae

Foedaratum et rei publicae

Pro qua stat, uni nationi

Deo ducente, non dividendae

Cum libertate iustitiaque omnibus

*Traditionally recited by the student body at the beginning of all assemblies.


On October 20, 1839, Nathan C. Brooks, Principal, gathered forty-six students together to begin what was later to be called Baltimore City College. The students met in a rented building on Courtland Street. Their day was divided into two parts with a morning session from 9 to 12, and an afternoon session, from 2 to 5. During the first half of the day, Professor Brooks divided his time between the sixteen students who chose the Classical course and the thirty students who concentrated on the study of English and Mathematics. In the afternoon, everyone concentrated on the study of English. The Classical and English courses were identical except for the addition of Greek and Latin. Professor Brook’s pupils were chosen from among the best students of the elementary schools, which had first begun in Baltimore only ten years earlier in 1829. By 1839, there were four “Male Schools,” each employing only one teacher regardless of the number of students. The resourcefulness of these early teachers and students must have been remarkable. In 1829, the Board of School Commissioners congratulated the William H. Coffin, the principal of the first public school in Baltimore, for his ability to handle his 212 students. To accomplish this task, the principals employed the more advanced students as monitors who acted essentially as assistant teachers, and separate classes were set up for their advanced studies. It was from among these monitors that the students were chosen for entrance into Professor Brooks’ new high school. There are few detailed records of the life of the first years of City College. No list of the early graduates exists since records were not kept until the school began to grant certificates of graduation in 1851. The sole personal characterization that remains came from Professor Brooks in his annual report to the School Board in 1839: It is no doubt, a matter of desire to be informed respecting the attendance, habits of study, behaviors, and general morals of the pupils under my care, as I am aware that an opinion prevails to some extent, that the children of the schools established by the Commissioners are rude, inattentive, ill-mannered, and vicious – I have conducted schools in the city and in the country – composed of day scholars, and boarders and last which I conducted was a select school of boys, carefully nurtured, and principally in the upper walks of life - and yet I must say that I have never superintended any school in which the boys were more generally prompt in attendance, more industrious, more respectful to myself, more kind and obliging to each other, or more correct in their general deportment, than students of the High School. Their conduct is truly praiseworthy. While this praise from Professor Brooks remains, as the only direct description of the first years of the school, there is considerably more direct evidence that can be used to develop an understanding of life at the school. Professor Brooks’ institution was designed to be the capstone of the public system begun in 1829, and the program of the elementary school led naturally to its establishment. When the school opened, it represented the fulfillment of a campaign for public education that had begun many years before. From the account of this early campaign, reported in the newspapers of the day, it is possible to get some understanding of what the City and its educators intended to accomplish with Baltimore City College

bottom of page