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.
September 2, 2012
Ned Warwick is a former editor with The Inquirer It's a museum few people know exists, housing the collection of a man about whom most people are only vaguely aware. And yet the Stephen Girard Collection provides an extraordinary look at one of the most remarkable figures in the history of Philadelphia and of this country. The collection, housed on the second floor of Founders Hall on the Girard College campus in Fairmount, rekindles in all its day-to-day detail the life and times of a man who, when alive, was America's richest person.
April 4, 2012 |
Autumn Adkins Graves, the first African American and first female president of Girard College, will leave the historic school in June, she said Tuesday. Graves, 39, presided over a difficult stretch for the private North Philadelphia boarding school founded by the 19th-century merchant-banker Stephen Girard for orphan boys. Serious money problems forced the school to enroll fewer students, lay off staff, and end a weekend residential program. Graves said family concerns led to her decision to step down.
December 6, 2011 |
As the title of the new film says: "Stephen Girard: A Philadelphia Legacy. " Girard (1750-1831) was the fourth-wealthiest man in American history. He saved the nation from bankruptcy during the War of 1812. He was instrumental in the development and expansion of Philadelphia's port. And, with the millions Girard left in his estate, he created a true Philadelphia institution: Girard College. Established in 1831 and opened on the first day of 1848, the boarding school was conceived by the French-born naturalized American as a place for poor, fatherless white boys to get an education.
October 30, 2011 |
Stephen Girard , early Philadelphia's self-made millionaire global trader, energy and transport pioneer, war financier, and vegan slaveholder, left most of his $10 million fortune to the city, so it could build Delaware Avenue, hire cops, and fund other public projects - especially the Girard College for orphans. The good news is that Girard's legacy, managed by pros hired by Philadelphia's Board of City Trusts, grew a little last year, to $515 million from $486 million. The bad news is, the school this is supposed to be funding continues to shrink.