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explore our CAMPUS

What's cool about our campus is that it's spread out over seven acres in Philadelphia's historic neighborhood of Germantown. The buildings are an eclectic mix of old and new, a unique look and feel more consistent with a college campus. With three gyms, three auditoriums, a student center, numerous open, green spaces and nine classroom buildings, it's a place worthy of adoration and exploration. The Meetinghouse, at the center of it all, provides a beautiful and spiritual focal point.

1. Main Building 2. Meetinghouse 3. Sharpless 4. Hargroves 5. Wade Science Center 6. Alumni Building 7. Admissions 8. Living Graveyard 9. Dead Graveyard 10. Loeb Performing Arts Center 11. Smith Gym 12. Cary Building 13. Friends Free Library 14. Field House 15. Scattergood Gym

we have deep roots in this place

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The Pillars of A

Quaker Education

At GFS, students and teachers gather in Meeting for Worship once each week. This is a time for shared, silent contemplation. Anyone who feels moved to speak may rise and do so. It is a simple formula, and can be a remarkably powerful experience.In these days of constant connectivity, the ability and opportunity to sit in silence have special value. Meeting for Worship is a cornerstone of the GFS culture that many come to cherish throughout their lives.

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speak the truth

We strive to deal fairly, equally and honestly with everyone. We aim to do as we say, reflecting our beliefs in our actions. even when it is inconvenient or challenging, we stand by our convictions, striving to lead lives of integrity.

Shine Together

We are all blessed with remarkable gifts. We are equally qualified to seek truth and to hear the voice of God. Every person deserves equal respect. For these reasons, we work against prejudice and discrimination and for equality.

stay connected

"Alone we can do little; together we can do so much."* We know there is strength in cooperation and wisdom to be found when many perspectives come together. We believe in the power of community.*
The words of Helen Keller.

keep it simple

In every way we can, we try to minimize the distractions that can draw our attention from the important things in life. This means not becoming overwhelmed by the busyness of daily routine. It means seeking balance. It means embracing simplicity.

care for all

This planet we inhabit, the talents we've been given, the community of which we are a part- all hold remarkable value. We must be responsible, imaginative and proactive in protecting these gifts and caring for the world and people around us. We must exercise good stewardship.

promote peace

We believe each life is precious and unique. We stand against war and violence and work to eliminate their root causes, including ignorance, racism, hatred and oppression. We are committed to creating peace.

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Monument Lab Comes to CoLab
Monument Lab Comes to CoLab

"What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia?"

This is the question that guides Monument Lab, and last week, alum Paul Farber '01, who leads Monument Lab, came to campus for an intensive CoLab. 

(As a reminder, CoLab is CoLab is a new, twice-monthly flexible time for learning and experimenting in the Upper School.)

The CoLab opened with Paul setting the stage for the day's investigations at morning assembly, and then groups—lots of groups—met for on- and off-campus monument investigations.

Paul explained that Monument Lab is "really a product of many years of exploring what history looks like, and who gets to write history." Part of Monument Lab's work is looking for "the gaps in our public history." 

In the course of his talk, he touched on the historical iconography of Philadelphia, and how hard it would be to imagine Philadelphia without it. (Consider: how many representations of Benjamin Franklin can you think of? There are a lot!) Paul noted that there are only a small handful of monuments in Philadelphia dedicated to women, and of those, most are not even from or related to Philadelphia, such as Joan of Arc or Mary Dyer (a Quaker martyr hanged in Boston). This year, with the dedication of a monument to Octavius Catto, Philadelphia gained its very first monument, on public ground, to an African-American person.

Paul stressed that "a monument is always a product of its time," and further, "symbols are associated with systems." Paul urged students to consider what symbols society chooses to elevate, and when the elevation occurs in a historical context, drawing on the example of monuments to Confederate leaders, and noting that most of the monuments that exist today were not erected after or during the Civil War, but rather, most were erected after Reconstruction during the rise of Jim Crow, and during the Civil Rights movement. 

Paul asked students to consider monuments as "platforms to think and learn together." To do just that, Upper School students participated a diverse range of workshops; see the full list below. 

On-Campus Workshops

  • Create and Construct a Monument to the Living
  • Unintended Monuments: What Main Hall Was, Is, and Could Be
  • Talk Back with Paul Farber
  • Odes: Monuments in Verse
  • Data Tagging and Data Crunching with Monument Lab Database
  • What If Our Monuments Could Speak
  • Comparing War Memorials: The Role of the Artist
  • Pocket Book 

Off-Campus Workshops

  • Documenting A Civil War Monument in Germantown
  • Re-imagining Market Square
  • Photography Walk to Vernon Park
  • Making Micro Films: My Monuments Versus Your Monuments
  • Unconscious Monuments: A Germantown Walk
  • Monuments to the Dead: Cemetery Sketching

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