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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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  • Peace

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Insights from a Quaker Soldier

Insights from a Quaker Soldier

At first glance, Danny Ceisler '10 might seem like an unlikely military intelligence officer. After all, he's a GFS lifer and a self-described Philadelphia-area progressive.

But, Danny says, "My GFS education was the best training I could have possibly had."

At first glance, Danny Ceisler '10 might seem like an unlikely military intelligence officer. After all, he's a GFS lifer and a self-described Philadelphia-area progressive. (In the Army, his dog tag listed his religion as Quaker, and that's pretty uncommon.) But, Danny says, "My GFS education was the best training I could have possibly had."

This week, Danny spent time in Jeremy Ross's US History class, speaking to seniors about how and why he joined the Army, his time in Afghanistan, and how thoughtful, creative students—such as those that graduate from GFS—might be just the people needed to devise solutions to military conflicts.

For his undergraduate work, Danny attended The George Washington University, where he got a full ride thanks to his involvement in the Army ROTC, a four-year officer training program. Danny acknowledges that his involvement in ROTC was a kind of rebellion at the time. "I didn't like Quaker stuff while I was here. I didn't like Meeting for Worship. I didn't appreciate all of the focus on diversity—I thought, 'Why spend so much time on this?' But it all clicked for me after I left." And, Danny says, "I thought that people like us should be pulling our weight in the military. The Army is an incredibly diverse organization, but people with our background are severely underrepresented. I was able to bring something a little different to the unit."

After graduation, Danny served in the Army Reserves. His training was in military intelligence, and he was eager to put his training to use, so when a chance arose to go to Afghanistan after he completed his first year at Temple Law, he jumped at it. 

Danny explained that the mission in Afghanistan today is primarily focused on negating immediate terrorist threats to Afghan civilians and to the US. Danny's intelligence work related to the targeting process for drone strikes. Without divulging sensitive details, he explained that the background research that takes place prior to any strike is rigorous and intensive.

A student asked if this work bothered him. Danny replied that it didn't, because he was confident in the intelligence, and certain that the alternative would have created a worse outcome. "These were really bad people. These guys were trying to kill innocent people, gain power and generate instability." 

So, what's next for our role in Afghanistan? Danny and the students discussed that nation-building, the process of trying to install democracy, hasn't really worked, and that endless war isn't an appealing option either. It's hard to get out of conflicts. A student commented that there must be another way out, some other creative solution that isn't nation-building or endless military involvement. Danny agreed, although he admitted he doesn't have the answers. "If there is another answer, start thinking about it now," Danny urged. "There's got to be another creative solution. That's why we need people at GFS to grow up and come up with something better."