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  • Voices of GFS
  • Campus
  • Values

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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.

  • Truth
  • Shine
  • Connected
  • Simple
  • Care
  • Peace

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History and Timeline

Since 1845, our school has thrived in Germantown under the care of the Germantown Monthly Meeting. We have deep roots in this neighborhood.

Our decision to stay in this urban, multicultural community affirms our belief that the lessons of racial and cultural diversity are a central manifestation of our commitment to Friends’ teachings.

At GFS, our view of the present—and of the future—is informed by our long history. This timeline provides both a microscope and a wide-angle lens to examine the school’s history, personalities, and campus changes.

How to Navigate the Timeline

Use the arrows at right and left to move through the timeline. You can also click on the flags in the bottom section to jump directly to a date, or click and drag to move the date range. On smartphones, tablets, and touchscreens you can tap to select and swipe right or left.

Click on any photo to enlarge it.

About the Archives

The Germantown Friends School has always collected and preserved its history, but recognizing that knowledge of the past is a key to the future, created a dedicated space in the early 1970s to safely store and organize the growing collection.

Today, there is a temperature controlled room and an archivist who preserves the materials, collects contemporary material, and makes the collection available the school and wider community. If you have GFS history material to donate, contact

Special thanks to Maurice A. Webster, Jr. '35 and the SNAVE Foundation for their support of the timeline project and of the Germantown Friends School archives.