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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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Marisa Williamson '04 Explores Race, Power, and Portraiture at Cohen Art Lecture  
Marisa Williamson '04 Explores Race, Power, and Portraiture at Cohen Art Lecture  

Artist Marisa Williamson '04 returned to GFS this week to speak to Middle and Upper School students about her multimedia explorations of gender, freedom, race, authority, and love at the annual Abigail Rebecca Cohen '91 Art Lecture. 

Marisa presented on her recent performance, video, and installation work about the life of Sally Hemings, slave of President Thomas Jefferson. With the goal to make the past seem alive, Marisa recreated the persona of Sally Hemings at Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, and in Paris, where Sally debated returning to the US as a slave or embracing a new life of freedom. Marisa's work challenges viewers to consider how narrow the distance is between then and now, and how the actions, emotions, and tensions of the past connect to today. 

Marisa's work is timely and important for students, visually telling a history of conflict and resistance, and inspiring individuals to find their voice through challenging times. 

"My work explores how power differentials are inherited, and looks to the past to see how we arrived where we are," said Marisa. "By articulating resistance and history through art and experiences, we can more effectively work on making change."

Marisa also highlighted that discomfort can be a source of inspiration and can help students find their artistic or written voice, "Find out what makes you uncomfortable and then dig into that." 

She ended her remarks with a challenging idea that "the process of creating portraits—especially self-portraits—is a process that doesn't end," reminding students that our lives, stories, conflicts, and history are constantly evolving, and to never stop asking important questions of yourself and others. 

The Abigail Rebecca Cohen '91 Lecture was created in memory of Abigail Rebecca Cohen, a 1991 GFS graduate. Her life as an artist and photographer was dedicated to the pursuit of social and aesthetic concerns. The Cohen Art Lecture is made possible by the generous support of Abigail's brother, Jonathan Cohen '88, and his wife Julia Pershan. The Cohen Art Lecture reflects GFS' Quaker philosophy that guides students to understand and appreciate their world through inquiry and artistic expression.