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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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Julie Rottenberg '88's Journey to Television 
Julie Rottenberg '88's Journey to Television 

Julie Rottenberg '88, a television writer and producer, returned to GFS to celebrate the Poley Festival and to talk to students about her career path, working in television, and her early influences and inspirations. Julie began her writing career at DC Comics, and went on to write and produce for hit shows including Sex and the City, SmashOdd Mom Out, and Divorce.

Julie spoke about how her career came to be what it is today, thanks to hard work and determination, friendships and support, embracing opportunities and experiences, and some luck. Her time at GFS had a big impact on her career. As a drama student, Julie helped develop and launch the Poley Festival 30 years ago, which helped her discover a passion for screenwriting and taught her the importance of collaboration. Her classes with Anne Gerbner and Lisa Burns allowed her to act, direct, write, and produce, getting her feet wet in everything needed to project manage an entire show, while in a safe and supportive environment. Lastly, Julie recalls a defining career moment at GFS, when Anne Gerbner sent one of her student plays to a competition; Julie won, and received her first title of "award-winning playwright." This recognition gave Julie the confidence to push forward in her dream career. 

Julie's writing is inspired by telling stories from her own life. She explained that, "I draw on life, my insane wonderful family, things that bother me and things that make me laugh." Julie also finds that collaboration sparks her creativity. In fact, Julie's long-time writing partner Elisa Zuritsky '88 also went to GFS. "Friendship and partnership gets me through the hard parts of the job," Julie added.

Many students were personally moved and motivated by words from this alumna. Brenden Dahl '20, a current drama student who is showcasing a scene from his original play during Poley Fest, said, "I was struck by how much I identified with her journey—we both came to playwriting in very similar ways, by writing in a GFS class, even with the same teacher, and then winning a playwriting competition. Hearing her talk about the highs and lows of her professional journey really inspired me. I realized that if I continued to work at it, this is something I could really achieve."

Brenden's new play, called Voiceless, explores the way that stories of homeless individuals are often exploited, something he feels very passionately about changing. Brenden interviewed individuals at the Broad Street Ministry, a social service organization in Philadelphia, and is portraying real-life struggles and triumphs in his play. He said, "Hearing Julie talk about the Sex and the City writers' beliefs that great art comes from real experiences affirmed some of my own artistic endeavors to create verbatim theater inspired by the stories of homeless people in Philadelphia."

After Julie's presentation, she met with some students and faculty to answer additional questions. When asked how she found her way to GFS in ninth grade, her mother, Barbara Rottenberg, a piano teacher in Philadelphia, remembered two sweet stories. First, Julie visited a few potential schools, some much closer to her Center City home, but loved GFS the most and said it was "worth getting up early for."  Second, she recalled visiting another high school option, but the stage "wasn't big enough for me." 

We're glad the stage at GFS was big enough for Julie's talent and personality, and we're grateful she continues to inspire our students and be a part of our community.