Marlborough Boys’ College has been part of a tradition of secondary education in Marlborough since 1900.
Marlborough High School was opened in 1900 as a co-ed school and moved to the current Stephenson Street site in 1901. Changing its name to Marlborough College in 1919, the College, always a vital part of the community, has gone through many changes, including the types of pupils in attendance.
Until 1956, the school included not only girls but also intermediate age pupils. With the establishment of Marlborough Girls’ College in 1963, Marlborough Boys’ College also came into being in its current form focusing on boys from Years 9 - 13.
The early years of the college included many notable individuals and events. Dr John Innes was the first Head Teacher. In World War I (1914 - 1918), many old boys served and our roll of honour records the names of those who sadly, made the ultimate sacrifice. John Hannington Goulding was a popular teacher who was killed in action at Gallipoli. The Goulding Pavillion is named in his honour.
During the ‘Great Influenza Outbreak’ of 1918-19 the College closed down briefly and operated as a second hospital containing influenza wards. The many beautiful trees on the front field were planted in these early years. Several are heritage trees, serving as reminders of the community's connection to the British Empire at the time, such as the ‘King George V Oak.’ The dominant architectural feature of the college, the John Stewart block overlooking the front field, was completed in 1940. During World War II (1939 - 1945) many more old boys served and once again, names were added to the roll of honour. The school Anzac service remembers them. In 1942, the war situation meant Marlborough College was used as a hospital and pupils took classes in buildings across the town.
In 1962, the community at large had lately voted in single sex education, and so, after a peak year of 1242 pupils, which made Marlborough College the third largest secondary school nationally, the Board of Governors found itself controlling the new Girls’ College on the north side of town and Marlborough College. This was renamed Marlborough Boys’ College in 1963. For 50 years, the two separate schools maintained a close relationship. Since 2013, both scholls have been working towards a future as two colleges on a shared site. The site chosen is the Marlborough Girls’ College site. As of 2021, planning was well under way.
The school has provided students with opportunities for world class learning using modern technology. Examples include a radio station in the 1980s - X-Static FM, or more recently, 3-D printing a product for sale as part of a Business Studies programme or lessons in Geography using a 3 D interactive projector and the use of virtual reality in science and history.
The multicultural nature of Marlborough society has been reflected at Marlborough Boys’ College. We have a history of exchanges of students between Marlborough and Jissen Gakuen, a school in Tokyo Japan. Since 2004, the Ota scholarship has seen two Year 9 students travel to Japan each year. Students and staff of many ethnicities are an integral part of the school. A notable example is Atu Moli, 2013 Head Prefect of Pasifika heritage. He went on to become an All Black.
For several years, the school has welcomed each new year and the new staff and pupils with a powhiri. In 2021, the powhiri was especially significant as Matua John Kendall was welcomed to Marlborough Boys’ College as our first Māori Principal/Tumuaki.
The most important members of the college community are our students. These students have gone on to become significant contributors to our Marlborough community as workers, spouses, parents and leaders. Many have had national and international success, including sportsmen, academics, leaders of industry, politicians and contributors to culture.