the roeper history project

Roeper Hill House 1950In 1941 George and Annemarie Roeper came to Detroit to found their own school. Beginning with only nine students, George and Annemarie steadily increased the size and scope of their school to keep pace with their own extraordinary imaginations, intelligence and commitment to making the world a better place. Over the years, innovations poured out of the Roepers. They developed an educational approach rooted in a psychoanalytic orientation that honored the whole child long before that term was an educational catchphrase. George, Annemarie and other faculty members were active lecturers, authors, publishers and researchers. As early activists for civil rights, George and Annemarie led by integrating the school in 1955. They became pioneers of gifted education in 1956 when the school became the second elementary school in the nation dedicated to gifted children.

G&A 1955We believe our rich history of ideas and innovations should be better known both within our own community and in the larger educational world. To that end, the Roeper History Project was founded with three goals:

  • To preserve our history.
  • To share the principles and philosophy of a Roeper education more widely.
  • To create a common knowledge of our history.

We have been organizing the archives to ensure that the materials are safely preserved and more accessible. We have been identifying and sharing key documents to deepen our own understanding of the Roeper Philosophy. We have been interviewing former teachers, students and staff to preserve their memories. In the end, we will have:

  • A published history of the school that explains George and Annemarie’s philosophy and intentions, showing how those have unfolded and evolved over the years.
  • An ongoing system to continue to collect materials and memories about Roeper School.
  • A more thorough public understanding of our rich history and enduring philosophy. 

Hill House lobby 1960We would like to invite you to participate in this project.

  • If you have photos or memorabilia to contribute, please let us know.
  • Please fill out an online survey about your Roeper experience. 
  • If you would like to support the project, either financially or with specific skills, please contact Denita Banks-Sims, Director of Development, at 248/203-7312 or 

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Marcia Ruff, School Historian, at 248/203-7371 or

Lower School [map] 41190 Woodward Avenue
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Upper & Middle Schools [map]
1051 Oakland Avenue
Birmingham, MI 48009

Main: 248.203.7300
Fax: 248.203.7310

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