The Meaning of Mercersburg

Strategy that honors our past while boldly embracing our future

In 1918, the student editors of the Karux dedicated the edition of that year’s school yearbook to founding headmaster Dr. William Mann Irvine, describing his philosophy for the school as follows:

Lofty ideals, great faith, noble integrity, and a ceaseless devotion to a mighty task, these are among the things which account for the meaning of Mercersburg.

Today, the school remains true to our founding values, which have endured over our 125-year history, while boldly embracing a future in education that will reflect a complex, changing world.

Read an article, "Designing the Future," about our strategic design by former Board of Regents President Deborah Simon ’74 from the winter 2018-2019 issue of Mercersburg Academy Magazine.


At Mercersburg Academy we embrace the values of hard work, character, and community while learning to balance independence with interdependence and individual humility with collective pride. Our students commit to a life of learning, seek to understand the spiritual nature of human existence, and develop a determination to lead and serve the world.


Mercersburg will boldly reimagine excellence in education by creating an interwoven academic and residential experience that will inspire our students to lead and serve in a complex, changing world.

Core Values

Lofty ideals

We welcome and accept all in the tradition of our egalitarian spirit, expecting everyone to contribute fully to our community and to the world with imagination, gratitude, and love.

Great faith

We believe in cultivating a faith in self (confidence); in others (trust); and in the future (hope).

Noble integrity

We build strength of character that inspires generosity, authenticity, and responsibility—when no one is looking and when everyone is looking.

Ceaseless devotion to a mighty task

We nurture the desire to dream, the courage to persevere, and the will to achieve.

Strategic Choices

Our goal is to create a truly integrated learning experience within a diverse, residential community. To do this, we will:


Maximize the impact of place and time in order to connect learning to our history, our community, and the environment we steward.


Prioritize the development of skills and character in order to prepare adaptable learners for life in a complex, changing world.


Commit to access and affordability to promote equity and excellence.


Empower a culture of purposeful leadership and shared expectations to promote meaningful work for all.


Build a culture of deliberate assessment, feedback, and accountability to ensure maximum impact of program for our students.