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L. Wendell and Audree Phipps Estey Papers

Identifier: DC089

Scope and Contents

The L. Wendell and Aubree Phipps Estey Papers consist of personal correspondence, personal and professional documents, and biographical material such as obituaries.


  • 1924 - 2002

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies and digital photographs may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from the Archivist. Researchers are responsible for determining any other copyright questions.

Biographical / Historical

L. Wendell “Bud” Estey was born on August 5, 1906, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to John Estey and Alice Blevins Estey. He grew up in Massacheuttes and graduated with a B.A. from Amherst College in 1930. Mr. Estey began as an English master at The Lawrenceville School in 1930. Aside from teaching English, he also coached diving and swimming and directed plays and musicals for the Periwig Club. He retired from The Lawrenceville School in 1972. He married Audrée Phipps, secretly in 1933 after four dates and a year-long correspondence; a year later a second wedding ceremony followed with friends and family.

Audrée was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on January 7, 1910. After moving to California, in the late 1920s she became a member of the Ernest Belcher Ballet Company, where she studied and taught in his school. Mrs. Estey danced classical ballet for the Fanchon and Marco, a touring vaudeville company. She also was a contract actress, dancer, and model for Fox Studios. In 1933, she married Bud after having met him the previous year when he came to the see the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Audrée began teaching in borrowed space – first in the living room of the headmaster’s house at The Lawrenceville School, then above Robert Oppenheimer’s garage in Princeton, N.J., and, as a result of the continued growth and success of her efforts, founded and incorporated the Princeton Ballet Society in 1954. The Princeton Ballet School (maintained by the Princeton Ballet Society) is now one of the largest not-for-profit dance schools in the country.

The Esteys passed away four weeks apart in 2002.


2.29 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



The L. Wendell and Audree Phipps Estey Papers are arranged into two series: Series 1: Correspondence and Series 2: General Files.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The L. Wendell and Audree Estey Papers were gifted to the Archives by Larry and Elizabeth Estey on May 21, 2013.


Appraisal has been conducted in accordance with The Lawrenceville School Stephan Archives guidelines.


Information in the biographical note was gathered from material within the collection.

Processing Information

The L. Wendell and Audree Phipps Estey Papers were processed by Casey Babcock in May of 2013.
L. Wendell and Audree Phipps Estey Papers: Finding Aid
Casey Babcock
January 29, 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the The Lawrenceville School Stephan Archives Repository

Box 6128
2500 Main St.
Lawrenceville 08648 U.S.A. US