Clubs and Activities

Trini Hoffman, Director of Student Activities

At Mercersburg Academy, boarding school is far from being “boring” school. With more than 45 clubs and organizations, 27 interscholastic teams, outdoor education, and the Student Activities Committee (SAC), there’s never a dull moment. 

SAC, led by director Trini Hoffman, helps to plan more than 120 activities for students to participate in throughout the school year—everything from dances to bingo nights to trips to Philadelphia or New York City, and more. During the COVID-19 global pandemic, SAC is also providing a robust array of virtual offerings. Follow along on the SAC Instagram page.

Student-run clubs and activities address social issues, immerse members in diverse cultures, develop athletic prowess, gear students for future careers, or just provide a relaxing and enjoyable break from the rigors of studying. 

Our arts department encompasses not just classes, but provides opportunities for students to expand their creative interests through art exhibits, music and dance concerts, and our Stony Batter Players (Mercersburg’s student theatre company). Learn more about our arts program and extracurricular offerings.

No matter what you’re into, you’re sure to find a group of like-minded people to share and develop your interest.

    Every student who attends Mercersburg can lay claim to being a member of either Irving or Marshall. These two societies participate annually in a fun-loving but fierce midwinter competition connected to a long and serious tradition of debating at the school.

    In fact, the societies are the school’s oldest organizations—older than the school itself. Precedent for societies began in 1835, when the original students of Marshall College maintained two societies, the Diagnothian and Goethean literary societies. In 1866, they were renamed the Washington Irving Literary Society and John Marshall Literary Society. The first debate occurred in 1894, under Mercersburg’s founding Headmaster Dr. William Mann Irvine on Washington’s Birthday. This began the tradition of midwinter weekend competitions in February.

    Although it has evolved, the competition continues today as a spirit-filled week of rivalry in a variety of events, such as pool, chess, swimming, volleyball, and basketball. The week culminates in Declamation, where individuals present practiced monologues as representatives of their societies. Afterward, students attend a dance, where the results of the speaking contest and the winning society are announced.

    Karux (yearbook)

    Founded in 1894, the Karux, Mercersburg Academy’s yearbook, is the oldest student-created publication at Mercersburg. A staff of approximately 20 students works throughout the year, taking photos, writing articles, and organizing pages to capture the highlights of each year at Mercersburg.

    The Karux prints annually each May. For more information, contact faculty advisers Lee Owen or Matt Maurer.

    Blue Review (literary journal)

    Blue Review (view the 2020 publication) was originally founded as The Lit, a literary publication, in 1901. Its name changed in the 1980s, and shortly after, artwork was included in the annual publication for the first time. The Columbia Scholastic Press Association critiques Blue Review each year, and the publication has steadily placed in the top two categories, receiving several Gold Crown and Silver Crown awards. The 2019 Blue Review received a Silver Crown. 

    For further information, contact faculty advisers Kristen Pixler or Michele Poacelli.

    The Mercersburg News

    The Mercersburg News is Mercersburg Academy’s student-run newspaper. Founded in 1901, the News is proud to be one of the few high-school newspapers in the country to follow a regular weekly publication schedule during the academic year. All articles are written by Mercersburg students and cover campus events, national and world news, sports, arts, and student interests. The News staff always looks to welcome new reporters, photo editors, and copy editors to the team. 

    Print editions are distributed around campus and mailed to alumni and parents. For more information or to subscribe, contact faculty advisers Allison Stephens or Frank Betkowski. The News is a member of the Pennsylvania School Press Association.

    Looking to find your place at Mercersburg? The following list of clubs and organizations is a good place to start. Don’t see a group that meets your interests? Propose your own—any faculty adviser can help.