Friends Seminary

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Friends Seminary
FriendsSeminary225Logo.jpg
Address
222 East 16th Street
New York City, New York, 10003
United States
Coordinates 40°44′04″N 73°59′09″W / 40.734572°N 73.985776°W / 40.734572; -73.985776Coordinates: 40°44′04″N 73°59′09″W / 40.734572°N 73.985776°W / 40.734572; -73.985776
Information
School type Independent
Denomination Religious Society of Friends (Quaker)
Founded 1786
Principal Robert "Bo" Lauder
Faculty 147
Grades Kindergarten — Grade 12
Gender Coeducational
Enrolment 754 (2013-2014)
261 Upper School
216 Middle School
277 Lower School
Average class size 17 students
Campus type Urban
Colour(s) Red and Grey
         
Song "Alma Mater"[1]
Athletics 18 teams
Mascot Owl
Publication The Magpie
Newspaper The Oblivion
Tuition U.S.$37,000.00[2]
Former name Founded as Friends Institute (1786-1860)
Website
Exterior of Friends Seminary. Exterior of Friends Seminary on 16th Street
Exterior of Friends Seminary on 16th Street.
The Meetinghouse
The Annex on East 15th Street, formerly the German Masonic Hall[3]

Friends Seminary is a private day school in Manhattan. It is owned and controlled by the New York Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.[4] The school, the oldest continuously coeducational school in New York City,[citation needed] serves 754 college-bound day students in Kindergarten through Grade 12. The school's mission is to prepare students “not only for the world that is, but to help them bring about the world that ought to be.” It is guided by a service mission statement and a diversity mission statement.[5] Friends is a member of New York's Independent School Diversity Network, and diversity is a key part of its educational philosophy.

Currently, Robert (Bo) Lauder is principal, the school's 35th. Lauder came to Friends in the fall of 2002 after serving as Upper School Head at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.

History[edit]

Friends Seminary, established by members of the Religious Society of Friends, whose members are known as Quakers, was founded in 1786 as Friends' Institute through a $10,000 bequest of Robert Murray, a wealthy New York merchant. It was located on Pearl Street in Manhattan and strived to provide Quaker children with a "guarded education." In 1826, the school was moved to a larger campus on Elizabeth Street. Tuition in that year was $10 or less per annum, except for the oldest students, whose families paid $20.[6] (By 1915, tuition had risen to $250.[7]) The school again moved in 1860 to its current location and changed its name to Friends Seminary.

In 1878, Friends Seminary was one of the earliest of schools to establish a Kindergarten. In 1925, it was the first private co-educational school to hire a full-time psychologist.[8] M. Scott Peck, who transferred to Friends from Phillips Exeter in late 1952, praised the school's diversity and nurturing atmosphere. "While at Friends," he wrote, "I awoke each morning eager for the day ahead ... [A]t Exeter, I could barely crawl out of bed"[9]

In recent years the school has made an effort to increase its endowment and has engaged in an ambitious and controversial renovation of its buildings. In 2011, based on recommendations made in 2005 by the Trustees of the New York Quarterly Meeting after completion of a study,[10] consideration of incorporating the school and the New York Quarterly Meeting separately was under consideration but consensus had not been reached by the meeting. After separation it was contemplated that the school program would continue to incorporate Quaker values and that its board of directors be controlled by Quakers.[4]

Organization[edit]

The school is divided into three sections:

  • Lower School - Kindergarten to Grade 4
  • Middle School - Grades 5-8
  • Upper School - Grades 9-12

Facilities[edit]

The campus comprises eight buildings. The largest building, built in 1962, holds classes for the entire Middle School, most of the Lower School and some of the Upper School. The building contains a basement-level gymnasium and cafeteria, library and media center, a language laboratory, science laboratories, art studios, a photography dark room, computer laboratories, a music room and classrooms for all grades.

Attached to the school is the historic Meetinghouse and The Fifteenth Street Monthly Meeting of The Religious Society of Friends. The Meetinghouse plays an integral part in student life at Friends Seminary. Outside the front doors of the Meetinghouse is the courtyard used for recess and other activities.

In 1997, the school purchased and renovated a former German Masonic Temple located on 15th Street.[11] The new building, called "The Annex", incorporates "green technology" to create a building with less of an ecological footprint than many other buildings in the city. The Annex includes more science labs, as well as three multi-use classrooms, and the offices for the Upper School.

The Meetinghouse, located on 15th and Rutherford, serves both as a place of worship and, traditionally, as a performance space, although the school has opted as of 2011 to perform in the Vineyard theatre across the street. The Meetinghouse also serves as a home for the school's music program.

Cost[edit]

Tuition for the 2013-2014, school year for all grades is U.S.$37,000. In addition, there are fees for meals, technology resources, etc., in combination with the expense for books for grades 9-12, that would add approximately $3,000-$4,000 to the cost of attendance.

In the 2013-2014 school year, more than $4.2 million in financial aid has been awarded to approximately 22% of students in grades K-12. [2]

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2013 Graduation Alma Mater http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHBiDL0NzEk&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL9hFCJ18E4Vt3JrW4jiIEcY9LXlSkITQd
  2. ^ a b "Tuition & Financial Aid" Undated. Accessed December 8, 2012.
  3. ^ Federal Writers' Project. (1939) New York City Guide. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-403-02921-X (Reprinted by Scholarly Press, 1976; often referred to as WPA Guide to New York City), p.189
  4. ^ a b Nir, Sarah Maslin (March 31, 2011). "Quakers and Elite School Share Uneasy Ground". The New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2011. 
  5. ^ http://www.friendsseminary.org/podium/default.aspx?t=51154&rc=1
  6. ^ Barbour, Quaker Crosscurrents, p.148
  7. ^ Handbook of Private Schools(1915)
  8. ^ Gibbs, Nancy Reid. Children of Light, Friends Seminary, 1986. page 101.
  9. ^ Peck, The Different Drum, page 30
  10. ^ "NY Times Article Regarding Friends Seminary and the Meeting". Friends Seminary. Retrieved April 1, 2011. 
  11. ^ "For Friends Seminary, New Classroom Space". The New York Times. March 16, 1997. 

External links[edit]