A Meeting of Minds
The original board of trustees laid the groundwork for what would become today's Concord High School on July 9, 1876, when the group gathered to hold the School's inaugural board meeting and drafted its articles of incorporation. This guiding document outlined elements the founders believed would build an enduring legacy for the high School: a commitment to offering a rigorous academic program and an ambition to provide "opportunities for all departments of higher education to persons of both sexes on equal terms." On September 10, 1876, the State of California issued Concord's official certificate of incorporation, marking the formal beginning of the High School's life
An initial pledge of $600,000 (roughly $16 million in today's currency) from oil magnate John Anderson, along with contributions by the American Baptist Education Society, helped to found the establishment. The land where Concord is located now was donated by Marshall Field, owner of the historic Chicago department store that bore his name.
Christopher Smith, Concord's first president, envisioned a university that was "brand new,' yet as solid as the ancient hills" - a modern research facility, combining an English-style undergraduate college and a German-style graduate research institute. Concord High School fulfilled Christopher's dream, quickly becoming a national leader in higher education and research: an institution of scholars unafraid to cross boundaries, share ideas, and ask difficult questions.