April 10, 2016
At the north end of Corinthian Avenue stands the most Parthenonlike of Philadelphia's many Parthenon-inspired buildings: Girard College's Founder's Hall. The Greek Revival temple, designed by Thomas U. Walter, is actually bigger than the Athens original, with massive fluted columns that rise 65 feet and that are topped with tiers of vines and flowers that form the architectural capitals (Corinthian, of course). Such an immense structure requires an equally massive entrance. Walter, who was just 28 in 1832 when he won a national competition to design a school for "poor white male orphans," made the front doors 31 feet high and more than 15 feet wide and outlined them with button studs and an elaborate egg-and-dart frame.
March 23, 2016 |
A Better Chance, a nonprofit that works with talented minority students and helps place them in college-prep schools, is teaming up with Girard College. A Better Chance is moving its three-person mid-Atlantic office from Drexel University to Girard's 43-acre campus in Fairmount on Thursday. "It's a great move for us," Keith Wilkerson, senior program manager for A Better Chance, said Monday. "It will allow us to think more broadly about the type of programming we provide for students.
February 21, 2016 |
At one of the city's newest schools Friday, one dedicated to primarily serving African American and Latino children from low-income families, students learned of long-ago efforts to integrate one of the area's oldest, Girard College. The students at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School learned of that episode in the city's racial troubled history by watching a documentary on the efforts of civil rights leader Cecil B. Moore and dozens of young people in 1965 to force the integration of the then-all-white male boarding school.
June 20, 2015
ISSUE | GIRARD COLLEGE Hershey kisses Milton Hershey School's connection with Girard College stands strong, and, like Girard, Hershey prides itself on providing children with an opportunity to escape poverty ("Merger with Hershey would be sweet," June 16). We have collaborated with Girard for years and will continue to share our expertise. Like Stephen Girard, Milton and Catherine Hershey set out a clear vision of helping children succeed. Hershey visited Girard's campus, embracing some of his practices.
May 4, 2015 |
Stephen Girard trusted that Philadelphia officials would use his fortune and his detailed instructions to guide Girard College, the stone-walled, 43-acre boarding school for poor kids, after he died in 1831. They've been fighting about it ever since. Girard's may be "the most litigated will in history," Orphans' Court Judge Joseph O'Keefe noted last year, when he rejected the Board of Directors of City Trusts plan to close Girard's high school and dorms until it enlarges its endowment and improves its programs.
September 6, 2014
ISSUE | ARTS FUNDING Board members, bring on the bucks Perhaps it takes an outsider like Michael Kaiser to finally tell the truth to Philadelphia's philanthropic community ("Seeing a way to the future," Aug. 29). The fault is not in the audience or the critics or the stars. It is in constrained budgets that hamper artistic creativity, the lack of endowment funding, and the failure to cultivate individual donors. Indeed, in the interview, Kaiser calls out ineffective boards of directors and enumerates precisely the problems that have kept many of Philadelphia's distinguished arts institutions teetering on the edge of insolvency.
January 31, 2014 |
A Philadelphia Orphans' Court judge on Wednesday said a group that includes Girard College alumni, parents, and students does not have the legal right to object to Girard's plans to end its high school and boarding programs. Administrative Judge Joseph D. O'Keefe denied the group's request to intervene. He held two days of hearings on the petitioners' request in November. "We're disappointed in the outcome, but at the same time, we're gratified we got a chance to be heard," said Joseph Samuel, president of the 3,000-member Girard College Alumni Association.
July 31, 2013 |
The board that oversees Girard College asked Philadelphia Orphan's Court on Monday for permission to suspend the boarding and high school programs in the fall of 2014 to help restore its ailing finances. In its petition, the board asked the court to modify the will of Stephen Girard, the merchant banker whose 1831 bequest established the boarding school for poor children on a 43-acre campus in Fairmount. The filing comes nearly eight weeks after the Board of Directors of City Trusts announced that dramatic change was necessary to avert financial ruin.
January 12, 2013 |
Despite his lifelong quest for integration, justice, and equality, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said life's "most urgent and persistent question is, what are you doing for others?" Service was indeed the hallmark of Dr. King's abbreviated life. I was reminded of that the other day at Girard College. Volunteers will gather Jan. 21 at Girard to join in 1,500 community-service projects for the 18th annual Martin Luther King Day of Service. An expected 110,000 volunteers, in fact, which would be a national record for any volunteer effort connected with Martin Luther King's Birthday.
September 19, 2012 |
Elizabeth Laurent works in white gloves to keep the past pure. "I touch history," said the woman whose job is to handle letters written by the men who invented America. "I have my fingers in things of the past. " As director of historic resources at Girard College, Laurent presides over 100,000 documents connected to college founder Stephen Girard - the 18th- and 19th-century banker, merchant, and philanthropist who was one of the young United States' richest men. Respectful of the slender slices of history in her covered hands, Laurent, 52, minds her finger oils and preserves the Girard papers in 288 boxes, 23 huge books, and numerous display cases.