Hello, I’m Kathy Haas the Director of Historical Resources at Girard College. Our school has a unique role in the history of American education. For over 170 years. Girard College has provided a quality educational experience for economically disadvantaged children on our 43- acre campus in the heart of Philadelphia.
Despite the name “College,” Girard has always been a residential school for students in grades 1 - 12. For over a century, Girard College educated only white boys as directed in Stephen Girard’s will. In the 20th century, important efforts to offer the school’s opportunity to children of all races and gender resulted in the first boys of color being admitted in 1968 and the first girls in 1984.
This tour will share some of the stories of this historic school, which has many links to important themes of 18th – 21st century American history, including philanthropy, finance, architecture, education, urban planning and civil rights. For more information about Girard College past and present and about visiting the school, please check out the school website at www.girardcollege.edu and the school’s museum website at www.foundershall.org.
Thank you for your interest in Girard College, and let’s begin. Please walk forward to the fence to the left of the gate.