||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (October 2011)|
|Westtown Township, PA, USA|
|Head of school||John Baird|
|Average class size||15 students|
|Campus size||600 acres (2.4 km2)|
|Color(s)||Brown and White|
|Athletics||27 Varsity Teams|
|Newspaper||Brown and White|
About Westtown School
Westtown is a Quaker school affiliated with the Friends General Conference branch of the Religious Society of Friends. Students are required to attend Meeting for Worship (once a week for day students, and twice a week for boarding students). Westtown uses the traditional Quaker practice of coming to unity in making some high-level decisions.
Westtown has been a coeducational school since its founding in 1799. Students come from more than 17 states and 20 foreign countries.
Westtown School first opened in May 1799. It was founded by Philadelphia Quakers who raised the money to build a boarding school and purchased 600 acres (2.4 km2) of land in rural Chester County—a full day’s coach ride from Philadelphia—where they could provide a “guarded” education in a healthy environment away from the secular influences of the city. For many years Westtown was nearly self-sufficient, with the campus providing raw materials used in construction of its buildings and food for the people who lived and worked at the school.
Boys and girls had separate classes until about 1870. Boys learned skills such as surveying and bookkeeping, and girls had sewing class. However, Westtown recognized that students of both genders should know basic academic subjects such as reading, penmanship, grammar, mathematics, geography and science.
The 1880s brought physical changes to Westtown. The main building was replaced with a structure designed by architect Addison Hutton, which was completed in 1888 and is still in use today. During the 20th century, the student body and the curriculum both became more diverse. Visual and performing arts were added, for example, and non-Quakers, African-American, and international students were finally admitted.
Westtown’s Esther Duke Archives is a facility dedicated to collecting and maintaining materials relating to the people and history of the school. Students and historians alike use the Archives for historical research.
Donald Baechler, (1956-), class of 1974, artist
- Charles Polk, Jr. (1788–1857), served twice as Governor of Delaware.
- Martha Coffin Wright (December 25, 1806 – 1875) was an American feminist, abolitionist, and signatory of the Declaration of Sentiments—sister to Lucretia Mott.
- John Kirk Townsend (1809-1851) was an American naturalist and ornithologist.
- John Howard Pugh (1827–1905), Member, United States House of Representative, representing New Jersey's 2nd congressional district (1877–1879).
- Samuel Leeds Allen (May 5, 1841 – March 28, 1918), inventor of the Flexible Flyer, the world's first steerable runner sled.
- Herb Pennock, Class of 1915, Major League Baseball player and manager, baseball Hall of Fame
- Richard T. James (1914–1974), with his wife, invented the Slinky.
- Edwin Bell Forsythe (1916–1984), Member, United States House of Representatives, representing the State of New Jersey (R).
- Edward Binns, character actor in the 1950s through the 1980s, appearing in "12 Angry Men," "North by Northwest," "Patton," in television episodes of "Twilight Zone," "The Rockford Files," and "M*A*S*H," among many other film and television credits.
- Jim Fowler, Class of 1947, Conservationist and wildlife correspondent/show host - Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom
- Piers Anthony, Class of 1952, best-selling author in the science fiction and fantasy genres.
- Collin Wilcox, Class of 1953, actor, Broadway, TV roles, movies: To Kill A Mockingbird, Catch-22, Jaws 2 and more; founding artistic director of the Instant Theatre Company.
- Garrick Utley, Class of 1957, the correspondent for CNN’s New York bureau, after serving three years as ABC News’ chief foreign correspondent and 30 years covering international news with NBC News.
- Holland Taylor (born January 14, 1943) is an Emmy Award-winning American actress, known for her film, television and theatre work. She is perhaps best known for her roles as Ruth Dunbar in Bosom Buddies, as Judge Roberta Kittleson in The Practice and as Evelyn Harper in Two and a Half Men.
- Livingston Taylor, singer-songwriter.
- Arthur W. Hummel, Jr. Class of 1938. (born 1920 in Fenzhou, China, died 2001, Chevy Chase, MD) United States diplomat and ambassador to China from 1981-1984.
- Anthony H. Williams, Class of 1975, Pennsylvania State Senator, 8th District.
- Eddie Montilla, Class of 1977, Music Producer.
- Colin Harrison, Class of 1978, bestselling novelist: Bodies Electric, Manhattan Nocturne, The Havana Room, Afterburn, editor at Scribners.
- Don Wildman, Class of 1979, the current host and narrator of Cities of the Underworld on History.
- Marysol Castro (b. September 29, 1976) is the weather anchor for ABC's Good Morning America Weekend Edition; since 2005, she has been the street reporter for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.
- Arthur M. Jackson (b. April 13, 1945) was a San Francisco businessman and civic leader.
- Westtown Website
- A visitor's impression of the school published in 1861
- Boarding School Review
- YouTube: Westtown School