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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

Values Container

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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Hug a Tree in The Betty Cary Arboretum

Hug a Tree in The Betty Cary Arboretum

Everyone who knew Betty Cary knew that she loved trees. There's no more fitting tribute to the memory of this influential educator who spent nearly 70 years at GFS than the creation of The Betty Cary Arboretum. 

Everyone who knew Betty Cary knew that she loved trees. There's no more fitting tribute to the memory of this influential educator who spent nearly 70 years at GFS than the creation of The Betty Cary Arboretum. 

Dorothy Cary. 

Friends, family, faculty, and students gathered on Friday, April 27—fittingly, Arbor Day—to witness the dedication of the arboretum, remember Betty (known to generations of students as "Mrs. Cary"), and tour the trees. 
The 230 unique trees and shrubs on the 24 acres of our campus (including the GFS Athletics Fields) comprise The Betty Cary Arboretum, which has received Level 1 accreditation by ArbNet. Back in 2015, shortly after Betty's death, our archivist Kate Stover proposed the idea of designating our campus as an urban arboretum. Science teacher Karen Cherubini (in her role as clerk of the Campus Stewardship Committee), school horticulturist Andrew DeGothseir, Kate, and many others spent the next few years turning this idea into reality. 

Students played a large role in this effort as well. The fundraising efforts of many years of the Lower School Environmental Action Committee (EAC) allowed the students to present a tree-mendous gift to The Betty Cary Arboretum: $12,000! (If you've ever bought kid-made lemonade from a campus sale, or fruit, candy and nuts, you helped make this gift possible.) The EAC students have used the money through the years to fund plant purchases, greenhouse supplies, pay for the tree tags in the arboretum, and other initiatives to improve, beautify and sustain our outdoor spaces. The last two years' members agreed to use the remainder of the money expressly for the arboretum.

Lower School students present the $12,000 gift with Karen Cherubini. 

At the event on Friday, Head of School Dana Weeks set the context for this apt commemoration, teacher (and daughter of Betty) Dorothy Cary shared a letter from Betty's sister about Betty's love of trees and nature, and Karen Cherubini introduced the EAC students as they presented their gift. Following the presentations, attendees divided into two groups to tour the significant trees of the collection. Andrew DeGothseir and GFS parent Catriona Briger and her father-in-law Ned Barnard, co-authors of "Philadelphia Trees: A Field Guide to the City and the Surrounding Delaware Valley," led the tours. 

A bird's-eye view of Ned Barnard and Catriona Briger leading an arboretum tour. 


We invite you also to explore The Betty Cary Arboretum when you're on campus: call ahead to take a tour. Look for tagged plants with QR codes that tell more information about species.