History & Traditions

Our Timeline

1836—Marshall College founded
1837—Main Hall built
1837—Reformed Theological Seminary founded in Mercersburg
1853—Marshall College joins Franklin College at Lancaster
1865—Original charter granted to the Regents of the Mercersburg College
1871—Reformed Theological Seminary moves to Lancaster
1893—Mercersburg Academy organized under Headmaster Dr. William Mann Irvine
1900—Keil Hall dedicated ($45,000)
1903—Groundbreaking for ’Eighty-eight Dormitory, attended by Woodrow Wilson
1905—Land where Traylor Hall and Nolde Gymnasium now stand is purchased
1905—Infirmary (Kelker Cottage) built ($5,000)
1906—Laucks Hall built ($27,000); Chapel site purchased
1910—First alumni reunion
1912—Power plant built ($115,000)
1912—Nolde Gymnasium dedicated ($140,000)
1922—Traylor Hall completed ($160,000)
1924—School Farm purchased (124 acres, $24,500)
1924—Chapel ground breaking
1926—Chapel completed ($833,847)
1928—New Main Hall built after fire in 1927
1928—Dr. Irvine dies (June 11)
1928—Dr. Boyd Edwards elected headmaster
1930—Cum Laude chapter begins
1936—Publication of A Century of Education at Mercersburg
1940—Dr. Edwards retires (remained in office one more year)
1941—Dr. Charles S. Tippetts (1912) appointed headmaster
1947—Octet formed
1949—Irvine Hall cornerstone laid
1953—James Buchanan Cabin moved from Chambersburg to campus
1961—Dr. Tippetts retires; William C. Fowle appointed headmaster
1960—Tippetts Hall completed ($380,000)
1962—Main Hall Annex converted to dormitory, Albert Swank (1910) Hall
1962—Boone Hall completed
1963—Laucks Hall razed
1964—First African American students admitted (Tom Fleming ’68, Tom Leslie ’66, Conrad Vickers ’68)
1964—Groundbreaking for Ford Hall
1967—Swank Library dedicated in Keil Hall
1968—Dr. Tippetts dies (August 28) 
1970—Carol B. Eppinger ’70 is first female to graduate in the 20th century
1971—William C. Fowle resigns as headmaster (effective June 30, 1972)
1971—Fowle Hall dedicated
1971—’Eighty-eight Dormitory demolished
1972—Curran Track completed
1972—Walter H. Burgin Jr. ’53 appointed headmaster
1978—Chapel tower named for Bryan Barker
1984—South Cottage renovated
1985—Jacobs Residency Fellow Program begins
1986—Culbertson House opens
1986—Archives established
1992—Mercersburg named a “Blue Ribbon” school
1992—Rutledge Hall dedicated, Tippetts Hall renovated
1993—Lenfest Hall dedicated
1993—100th anniversary celebration; publication of One Hundred Years of Life: Mercersburg 1893-1993 by David Emory ’72
1996—Burgin announces retirement
1997—Douglas Hale appointed head of school
1998—Main Hall renovated
1999—Tippetts and Fowle Halls renovated
2000—Keil, South, Swank, and Culbertson renovated
2000—H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest ’49 donates $35 million to Academy
2001—Smoyer Tennis Center opens
2002—Fowle dies (February 18)
2003—Class of ’38 Observatory opens
2004—Davenport Squash Center opens
2004—Demolition of Boone Hall
2005—Masinter Outdoor Education Center dedicated
2006—Burgin Center for the Arts opens
2009—Rededication of Prentiss-Zimmerman Quad
2009—Installation of artificial turf field (Regents’ Field)
2010—Nolde Gymnasium renovated
2013—Simon Student Center and 1893 House open
2013—Deborah Simon ’74 and her foundation announces $100 million gift to school
2015—Hale announces retirement (effective June 2016)
2016—Katherine M. Titus appointed head of school
2017—Hale Field House opens
2018—Academy celebrates 125th anniversary as a college-preparatory school
Published in 2013, the 120th anniversary issue of Mercersburg magazine includes feature interviews and a timeline of noteworthy school events.
Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center.
Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
100 Academy Drive, Mercersburg, PA 17236
GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236