Chiengmai Boys School
The Prince Royal’s College, located on Kaew Nawarat road, Wat Ket, Mueang district, Chiang Mai. On March 19, 1887, Rev. David G. Collins, an American missionary under the Laos Mission of the Presbyterian Church in USA, founded “the Chiengmai Boys School” or was known as “Wang Sing Kham boys’ school,”which was the first boys’ school in Northern Thailand. The school was located on the west side of Ping River at Ban Wang Sing Kham. Lanna language was the language used when teaching and there was bible study since then. The first generation teachers were Kru O, Kru Bunta, Kru Dang, and Kru Prom.
In 1899, Professor Collins resigned to open the America mission printery. Since 1896, Rev. Dr. William Harris, the principal assistant, was appointed to be the principal. Within ten years, the school was outgrowing its facilities and a larger campus was needed. At that time a young missionary, Rev. Dr. William Harris had taken over the management of the school and he searched for a larger tract of land for the school. A large tract of land was found and with their own money and some donations from friends, Rev. Dr. Harris and Mrs. Harris purchased the land and moved the school to the east side of the Ping River.
The Prince Royal’s College
On January 2, 1906, His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Maha Vajiravudh came to the school and laid the corner stone for the first classroom building. It was at this time that His Royal Highness renamed the school, The Prince Royal’s College, and he also gave the school his royal colors, white and blue.
Over the years that Rev. Dr. Harris and Mrs. Harris were at the school (1895 to 1939), the school continued to grow. New buildings were needed in order to teach the many students that wanted to study at the Prince Royal’s College. Also, it was necessary to make rice fields and a water buffalo watering hole into a beautiful campus where students would want to come and learn. This was a great challenge for a small school that had no money. However, Rev. Dr. Harris was never shy about asking for financial help from any foreigner or wealthy Thai he might meet, either in Thailand or during his travels abroad.
Rev. Dr. Harris had highly developed the buildings and the education. Since 1912, Thai was used instead of Lanna language to fulfill the national integration trend, and English was emphatically taught to the students to be able to speak and read English. Moreover, he support the teachers to get higher education, until the school was as approved as the government schools in 1921. Furthermore, Mrs. Harris was an important person who helped develop the school and created the Alumni Association on July 8th, 1926. When Rev. Dr. Harris retired in 1936, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Elmer Wales was appointed to be the principal. During the World War 2 (1941-1945), the school was taken by government, the place for high school level teaching was called preparatory school. After the war had ended, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Elmer Wales took the school back from the government, recruit a school manager, and Professor Muak Chailungkarn was the principal of the school. There was a melioration on buildings and education, and secondary education department was created. When Dr. Conrad Kingshill took response, there was a Dara-P.R.C. Coeducation Department in 1956, which was the start of the coeducation classes of the Prince Royal’s College.
On Jan. 25, 1927, King Prajadhipok had visited the P.R.C. Later, on Jan 5, 1928, Somdech Phra Phan Vasa Ayyika Chao, the queen grandmother, presided at the opening ceremony of Powers Hall building and on March 8, 1958, King Bhumibol, Rama IX and Queen Sirikit had visited the school, there were also many senior officials both Thai and foreigner who had visited the school.
On Jan. 2, 1986, Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda, presided to plant the headstone of Phetcharat-Suwatana building.
In 1957, the female students were accepted only for high school. Nowadays, the Prince Royal’s College is opened for males and females from kindergarten to high school.