Stuart Hall School

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Stuart Hall School
Stuart Hall (Old Main) Staunton VA.JPG
235 W. Frederick St.
Staunton, Virginia 24401
United States
Type Independent Secondary, Boarding
Established 1844
Head of school Mark H. Eastham
Grades PK12
Average class size 15
Campus Urban, 8 Acres
Color(s) Red & White          
Nickname Dragons, Stu
Accreditation Virginia Association of Independent Schools
Affiliation National Association of Independent Schools
Old Main
Stuart Hall School is located in Virginia
Stuart Hall School
Stuart Hall School is located in the US
Stuart Hall School
Location 235 W. Frederick St., Staunton, Virginia
Coordinates 38°9′1″N 79°4′36″W / 38.15028°N 79.07667°W / 38.15028; -79.07667Coordinates: 38°9′1″N 79°4′36″W / 38.15028°N 79.07667°W / 38.15028; -79.07667
Area less than one acre
Built 1865 (1865)
Architectural style Greek Revival
NRHP Reference # 74002246[1]
VLR # 132-0011
Significant dates
Added to NRHP August 13, 1974
Designated VLR February 21, 1974[2]

Stuart Hall School in Staunton, Virginia is a co-ed school for students grades PreK-12, and offers a boarding program from grades 8-12. Stuart Hall was originally founded by the Episcopal church as the Virginia Female Institute in 1844. It was renamed in 1907 in honor of its most famous headmistress, Flora Cooke Stuart, the widow of Confederate cavalry leader Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart.


Originally named the Virginia Female Institute, Stuart Hall has its origins in Mrs. Sheffey’s 1831 school, which held classes in her Staunton home.

During the American Civil War the school’s building was used to house the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind while VSDB’s building was being used as a hospital. During this time students attended classes in a nearby home in Staunton.

Old Main is a two-story, five bay, brick Greek Revival style building completed in 1846. It features an impressive two-story, three bay, Doric order portico with a simple heavy frieze supported by four paneled piers.[3] It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.[1] "Old Main" is a common nickname for Stuart Hall.[4][5] It is located in the Newtown Historic District.

Under the direction of Mrs. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart from 1880-1899, the school persevered through the economic and social times following the Civil War. Mrs. Stuart revised the curriculum and raised the standards of scholarship.

From 1899 to 1915, the principal was Maria Pendleton Duval,[6] Mrs. Stuart’s cousin, and the first faculty advisor to ELA, the student group that founded the library in 1882. Under Miss Duval’s leadership, the school was renamed “Stuart Hall” in 1907 and was expanded to include grades K through 12 with boys being admitted into the lower school.

In 1940 the Lower School was discontinued. In 1992, the School opened a Middle School serving male and female day students in grades 6-8. In 1999 boys were accepted as day students into the Upper School. In 2007, Stuart Hall School merged with Hunter McGuire School and again became a K-12 independent school. A Pre-Kindergarten class was added in 2008.

Current operations[edit]

Stuart Hall is a private boarding and day school. It provides co-ed boarding (grades 8-12), and co-ed day schooling (grades PreK-12). In 2003, Stuart Hall School became a member of the Church Schools of the Diocese of Virginia. Keeping with its roots in the Anglican tradition and Episcopal Church, Stuart Hall's membership to this distinguished network of schools helps it strengthen its mission and its community across the state and the nation.

Stuart Hall boarding students come from all over the United States. Stuart Hall (known by the students as STU), also boards international students who come from several countries and continents outside of the US, including Canada, Africa, Korea, China and Mexico. Stuart Hall is located near Mary Baldwin College, at 235 W. Frederick Street in Staunton. Because of this proximity, students in 11th and 12th grades have the opportunity to participate in classes at the College.

The students and staff participate in traditions that existed since the school first opened. Most of the traditions, such as Ring Banquet (giving of the class rings), Junior-Senior Banquet, Loving Cup, and even graduation, are planned by students and faculty members. The school also holds the Red and White competition, which is a friendly competition between students and faculty which helps promote school spirit.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable Heads of School[edit]

Its principal from 1847 to 1848 was Benjamin Blake Minor (1818–1905). Henry Scharf (1822–1887) was Instructor of Elocution in early February 1872.[7]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (January 1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Old Main" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources.  and Accompanying photo
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Stuart Hall". The Independent. July 6, 1914. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  7. ^ The Education Journal of Virginia, p. 197

External links[edit]