Broughton High School Celebrates its 90th Anniversary

The Capitals celebrate 90 years as a Raleigh learning institution
by Katherine Poole | photos courtesy News & Observer archives

Photo from the first Broughton yearbook. Courtesy News & Observer Archives

Needham B. Broughton High School turns 90 this year. Established in 1929, it is the oldest of 27 high schools in Wake County. And, at a current student body population of over 2,100 students, continues to operate from its original building designed by architect William Henley Deitrick on the corner of St. Mary’s and Peace Streets.

In honor of its 90th, we thought we’d share a few smart facts about Raleigh’s venerable learning institution. Go Caps!

Broughton is a nationally-regarded magnet high school with a Global Studies and Language Immersion/International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. The graduation rate is 88 percent and it ranks in the top 50 percent of public schools in the state for Reading and Language/Arts Proficiency and math proficiency.

courtesy News & Observer/Tegan Johnston

Notable Caps alumni include: Juston Burris, current cornerback for the New York Jets; John W. Coffey, art historian, author, deputy director for collections at the North Carolina Museum of Art; David Connell, bassist for The Connells; Lelynd Darkes, hip hop artist; Lauren Kennedy, Broadway actress; Pete Maravich, former Louisiana State University and NBA basketball player; Burley Mitchell, former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court; Reynolds Price, author; Jerome Robinson, former basketball player at Boston College and current player for the Los Angeles Clippers; Webb Simpson, PGA Tour golfer and 2012 U.S. Open Champion; and Anne Tyler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Travis Long

Historical highlights abound. In 1935, Henry Watson Moore wrote a class song for his graduation. It went on to become Broughton’s alma mater. The popular Queen of Hearts Dance began in 1943 in an effort to raise funds during World War II. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke in the auditorium in 1957. Twelve years later, the auditorium was destroyed by fire. In 1989, the 3,000 seat Capital Stadium opened. And, in 2009, former President Barack Obama visited the school.

As part of the school’s ongoing celebration, The Needham B. Broughton Capital Foundation is throwing a big birthday bash on March 23. Proceeds from the event will help fund supplemental programs across Broughton’s broad academic curriculum. The event is sold out, but alumni, parents and friends of the school are encouraged to donate (insert link to website) to the program.