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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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A Memorable Musical Day in NYC
A Memorable Musical Day in NYC

Last month, Germantown Friends School (GFS) Upper School music and theatre students enjoyed a unique opportunity to experience the excitement of the performing arts and hear first-hand from professionals in the field during a memorable day in New York City.

After a morning tour of the Juilliard School and lunch at the nearby home of alumna Michelle Toll ‘87, students gathered in front of the Revson Fountain in Lincoln Center on their way to see the final dress rehearsal of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, which opened the Metropolitan Opera season. Beyond the bold, red carpets and massive columns of the opera house, students enjoyed viewing the emotion of the vocalists and seeing the detailed set move as the story progressed. They also discussed the complexity of the story and its relevance today and importance in musical history, serving as the first performance of its kind to feature a cast of classically trained African-American singers. 

After the performance, students participated in a Q&A with the singers and writers, gaining insight into artistic storytelling directly from professionals. GFS student Lisa Lu ‘20 asked Eric Owens, who played Porgy, "What is the significance of the opera's ending for Porgy?" After taking time to collect his thoughts, Owens answered that Porgy had to “search deep into his soul to understand what he wanted. He had to listen to and follow his heart no matter what others thought.” 

In the evening, students were joined by GFS alumni for a reception at Lincoln Center featuring singer-songwriter and alumna Madison McFerrin, Class of 2010. McFerrin is known for her captivating, unique, and soulful take on a cappella. She spoke about her deep connection to “Porgy and Bess”—her grandfather’s voice can be heard on the soundtrack of the film with Sidney Poitier. McFerrin, who is also the daughter of singer Bobby McFerrin, shared that she is “honored to carry out my family’s musical legacy” and proud of her grandfather’s position in African American history. “If you read anything about opera, my grandfather is in the books.”

 

McFerrin also performed an original song from her upcoming EP, “You + I,” and inspired students and guests with her captivating vocals and songwriting. She encouraged them to pursue their passions even when faced with adversity. 

Together, students, faculty, parents, alumni, and friends enjoyed a day connecting over a love of performing arts and many left motivated and excited to play on!

“I have played cello for ten years. Not only did I enjoy seeing the acting and hearing the music, but I was able to watch the cellists and view each musician’s technique and expression,” said Mae Brockman ‘24. “I hope to incorporate that into my own playing back at home. I had an amazing day.”