Mercersburg Academy’s annual Christmas Candlelight Service will be held Sunday, December 16, in the Irvine Memorial Chapel. Services will be held at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., with light refreshments served in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Cofrin Gallery from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The service is open to the public and free of charge. Parking is free and the Chapel is handicap accessible.
Steven Zhang ’11 has been appointed president of Inter Milan (officially Football Club Internazionale Milano), which is one of the world’s most popular professional soccer teams. Inter Milan has won 18 league championships in Serie A, Italy’s top soccer league. The squad has three UEFA Champions League titles (with its most recent coming in 2010), and is the only club in the 20-team Serie A to never have been relegated to a lower-division league.
Members of Mercersburg Academy’s Octet and Magalia (the school’s a cappella vocal groups) and Jazz Band took the stage November 10 for the Fall Pops Concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre.
One essay written by a student from each of Mercersburg’s four academic classes has been chosen as a winner of the school’s Summer Reading Essay Contest. This year’s honorees are Alison Huang ’22 (of Taichung City, Taiwan), Marco Malo ’21 (of North Bergen, N.J.), Maggie Quick ’20 (of Denton, Md.), and Katie Brennan ’19 (of Wheaton, Ill.).
Eleven 10th-grade students in the Honors “Power, Justice and Authority” course taught by Michele Poacelli and Alexandra Patterson presented an evening of dystopian workshops November 7 to showcase their work from this term.
Mercersburg hosted the Mid-Atlantic Prep League Cross Country Championships October 31 on campus. Peddie won the boys’ team title while Lawrenceville took the girls’ crown. Individual champions included Robert Enck of Lawrenceville (boys, 16:37) and Charlotte Bednar of Hun (girls, 18:10).
Mercersburg Academy has announced a partnership with Tuscarora Organic Growers, a local cooperative with 50 member growers and more than a dozen non-member growers. The warehouse and offices are located near Maddensville, Pa., which is less than 30 miles from the Academy campus.
Rod Hissong, co-owner of Mercer Vu Farms, was the featured speaker at a school meeting Friday, October 26 in the Irvine Memorial Chapel as Mercersburg Academy continues a three-week session of discussions on the topic of immigration.
More than 90 seniors in Mercersburg Academy’s 12th-grade class enrolled in Springboard capstone courses participated October 24 in field excursions around the area and region pertaining to their fields of study. Some classes used the day to have uninterrupted time to work on projects on campus.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918, Mercersburg Academy is exhibiting portraits of the Academy’s Medal of Honor recipients: Joel T. Boone (1909), Ralph Talbot (1916), and Eugene Fluckey ’30. The exhibit is on display in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Niche Gallery through November 27.
Mercersburg Academy announced the first 12 members of its Class of 2019 who have been chosen for induction into the school’s chapter of the Cum Laude Society, which recognizes the highest level of academic achievement within the school.
Stony Batter Players, Mercersburg Academy’s student theatre company, presented She Kills Monsters October 19-21 in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre. The play was directed by faculty members Matt Maurer and Kelly Dowling. View a photo gallery from She Kills Monsters.
Mercersburg opened a three-week examination of the important topic of immigration October 19, when Alex Nowrasteh, a senior immigration-policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, spoke at a school meeting in the Irvine Memorial Chapel.
For two days last week, the classroom for students in Mercersburg’s Quinn-Ferguson Honors Seminar shifted to Washington, D.C., and included conversations with and presentations by sitting U.S. senators; a former U.S. secretary of state, senator, and presidential candidate; the editor of a major newsmagazine; and thought leaders in the worlds of government, politics, technology, food, medicine, and more.
Hakeem Rahim gave the Ammerman Family Lecture at Mercersburg Academy October 8 in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre. The lecture kicked off the school’s 2018-2019 Monday Evening Lecture Series. and was a required appointment for Mercersburg students and faculty.
Stony Batter Players, Mercersburg Academy’s student theatre company, opened its 2018-2019 season with Stop Kiss, a play that examines themes of friendship, love, attraction, prejudice, and hate. The sold-out opening performance was held September 29 as part of the school’s Family and Alumni Weekend, with three other performances October 5-7 in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Hale Studio Theatre. Director of Theatre Laurie Mufson directed the production.
Mercersburg Academy will host recitals from the school’s Swoope Carillon Sundays in October; guest carillonneurs will include Julia Littleton (October 7 and 14), Joey Cotruvo (October 21), and John Widmann (October 28). The school’s carillon recital series hosts performances on most Sundays during the academic year; recitals begin at 3 p.m.
Head of School Katie Titus has announced that Assistant Head of School for Advancement and Communications Brian Hargrove will be leaving Mercersburg Academy in the next few months to accept the head of school position at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Mount Hermon, Mass.
More than 700 parents, grandparents, siblings, other relatives, alumni, and guests visited Mercersburg for Family and Alumni Weekend September 28-30, where they participated in campus activities and met fellow members of the school community.
In recognition of their performances on Advanced Placement (AP) Exams in spring 2018, 115 Mercersburg Academy students have been selected for recognition in The College Board’s 2018 AP Scholar Awards program. These students have demonstrated college-level achievement through their performances on AP exams and on AP courses. Honorees are recognized in four different categories: National AP Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction, AP Scholar with Honor, and AP Scholar.
Each year, approximately 100 Mercersburg Academy students and 20 faculty members embark upon academic, outdoor, and service adventures all over the globe during the school's spring and summer breaks. This year's break travel options have been announced; applications are open through October 15.
Eight different Mercersburg teams headed southeast to McLean, Va., on September 22, with a common opponent awaiting them: the Snails of The Madeira School, who played host to the Blue Storm’s girls’ cross country, field hockey, girls’ soccer (varsity and junior varsity), girls’ tennis (varsity and JV), and volleyball (varsity and JV) teams on the inaugural day of competition in the M Cup, created this year to recognize an athletic rivalry that dates back to at least 1976.
Students from Gauss Gymnasium of Worms, Germany, arrived at Mercersburg Academy Wednesday, September 12, for the start of a 27-day exchange program between the two schools. Seven students and two teachers from Gauss are taking part in 2018, which marks the 21st year of the program.
Mercersburg Academy Carillonneur James Brinson gave a recital on the school’s Swoope Carillon Sunday, September 9, and will also perform Sunday, September 30. Guest carillonneurs Steven Ball (September 16) and Buck Lyon-Vaiden (September 23) will perform in the coming weeks as part of Mercersburg’s carillon recital series, which hosts performances on most Sundays during the academic year. All are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
At Mercersburg Academy’s Opening Convocation September 2, Patrice McGloin ’19 received the Robert H. Michelet Prize, while Ryan Bland ’21 garnered the John H. Culbertson Prize. Head of School Katherine M. Titus presented McGloin and Bland with their awards during Convocation, which was held in the Irvine Memorial Chapel.
Allison Stephens is the 2018–2019 recipient of the Ammerman Distinguished Teaching Award for Religious & Interdisciplinary Studies, while Michele Poacelli is this year’s Zern Excellence in Teaching Award honoree. The awards, which are presented on an annual basis to two members of the Mercersburg faculty, were announced August 24 by Head of School Katie Titus.
Boyd Straley began working at Mercersburg Academy in June 1961. Fifty-seven years later, he retired from the school’s buildings and grounds department August 24 with a lifetime of memories and jobs well done. He leaves the Academy as one of the longest-tenured employees in the school’s 125-year history.
The 13th Annual Nancy Horton Heefner Memorial Art Show will be on exhibit in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Cofrin Gallery August 29–September 21. It is a non-juried show and is sponsored by the Mercersburg Historical Society. A reception will be held Sunday, September 9, from 1–4 p.m.
Mercersburg Academy held its third annual Summer Faculty Institute for teachers and administrators August 13-17 on campus. The annual event is geared toward classroom teachers and those working with adolescents in residential, counseling, and advisory settings and is open to education professionals from within or outside the Academy. This year, 58 attendees took part in the weeklong event, including six from peer schools.
Harold FitzGerald "Gerry" Lenfest '49—a luminary in the history of Mercersburg Academy and American philanthropy, and a pioneer in the field of communications—died August 5 in Philadelphia at age 88. He leaves a profound legacy at Mercersburg and in communities across the nation.
Burton Richter ’48, who received the 1976 Nobel Prize in physics, died July 18 in Stanford, Calif. He was 87. Richter was director emeritus of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (originally the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) at Stanford University.
After 48 years of service at Mercersburg Academy, Shirley Zeger retired June 29, wrapping up a career that began in the registrar’s office, transitioned into an assistant with student banking and accounts payable in the business office, and ultimately brought her to the role of assistant to the head of school—a role she has served admirably since 1983.
Academy carillonneur James Brinson gave a free concert of patriotic music from the school’s Swoope Carillon July 4. The concert included a mix of American folk songs, hymns, and patriotic standards in honor of the United States’ 242nd birthday.
Five students competed June 18-22 at RoboCup International 2018 in Montreal, Canada, with the team of Victor Li ’18, Patrick Madden ’18, and Joseph Lieber ’19 taking second place in the Rapidly Manufactured Robot Competition (RMRC) division. Li, Madden, and Lieber compiled 115 points, coming in behind Japan who had a final score of 185. Mexico was third with 90 points, and Slovenia took fourth with 63 points.
Building on the foundation laid by its $300 million Daring to Lead Campaign and informed by its ongoing strategic design process, Mercersburg Academy is taking bold and decisive next steps to address affordability and access as educational costs for students and families nationally continue to rise. For the 2018-2019 academic year, the Academy is holding the tuition increase to just 1.5 percent for boarding students (as compared to a 10-year average increase greater than 4 percent) and decrease tuition by 10 percent for day students. These important steps, paired with significant increases in financial aid, signal the school’s commitment to making a Mercersburg education within reach for more families from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
Throughout the month of June, a total of 79 Mercersburg students (and 17 faculty members) traveled domestically and internationally with programs coordinated by Mercersburg’s Office of Global Programs & Initiatives. Groups visited Chile, China, Costa Rica, France, Germany/Austria, the New River Gorge in West Virginia, Peru, Prague/Budapest, and South Africa.
More than 750 alumni, their guests, faculty, staff, and friends of Mercersburg gathered on campus Thursday, June 7, through Sunday, June 10, to celebrate their connection to each other and to the school. Classes ending in 3 and 8 held their five-year reunions, breaking last year's record attendance of more than 600.
Michael O’Keefe, an assistant varsity baseball coach at Mercersburg and a member of the English faculty at the school for three years, has been appointed Mercersburg’s head varsity baseball coach. O’Keefe succeeds John Lowery Jr., who won Mid-Atlantic Prep League championships in each of his three seasons with the Blue Storm. (All told, Mercersburg has won or shared the MAPL baseball title every year since 2011—an eight-year span.)
Jayvien Sandridge ’18 was chosen by the Baltimore Orioles June 6 in the 32nd round of the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Sandridge was a varsity baseball letterwinner all three years at Mercersburg, and helped the Blue Storm to three Mid-Atlantic Prep League titles (the team has won or shared the league crown in each of the past eight seasons).
Mercersburg Academy is thrilled to announce that the school’s new health center will be named the Rutherford Health and Wellness Center in honor of longtime faculty members Frank ’70 and Debbie Rutherford. Click here to see photos of the building.
Working with high-school athletes to heal their aches and pains—ranging from minor shin splints to bone fractures—is most certainly not a job for everyone. It requires saint-like patience and an extensive knowledge of the human body. Marilyn Houck knows this better than most: for the past 32 years, she has dedicated her time and caregiving skills to being an outstanding athletic trainer at Mercersburg Academy. As her long and caring tenure comes to a close, Houck prepares to leave the community and embark on retirement this June.
Mercersburg completed the 2017-2018 academic year—its 125th as a preparatory school—with a special year-end awards dinner May 31 in Ford Hall. A total of 56 awards were presented to students in the ninth, 10th, and 11th grades for excellence and accomplishment in academics, the arts, and athletics.
John-Anthony Di Tullio ’18 and Alex Rogat ’18, two of the newest members of Mercersburg’s alumni body after graduating May 26 with the Class of 2018, have announced their commitments to enroll at and play basketball for a pair of universities beginning in 2018–2019. Di Tullio, of Gmunden, Austria, is headed to Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, while Rogat, of Langenzersdorf, Austria, has chosen Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia.
Academy Award-winning actor Benicio Del Toro ’85 gave the Commencement address for the 132 members of Mercersburg Academy’s Class of 2018 May 26. The ceremony was the school’s 125th Commencement and was held on the traditional campus graduation platform between Keil Hall and South Cottage.
Pieces by 30 student artists—including 10 members of the Class of 2018—are on exhibit in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Cofrin Gallery and Small Gallery. The annual Senior Art Show features work by Charlotte Caruso ’18, Gabriel Gotera ’18, Sydney Hosbein ’18, Elizabeth Im ’18, Yuju Kang ’18, James Thompson ’18, Arturs Tomsons ’18, Daniel Zeballos ’18, and Alex Zhukova ’18, and the Spring Student Art Show includes work by members of Mercersburg’s ninth-grade, 10th-grade, and 11th-grade classes.
Nine college-admission representatives visited Mercersburg May 22 to lead the school’s entire 11th-grade class in a workshop and culminating exercise that put the students themselves in the seats of a college admission panel—less than six months before those same students will begin submitting their own applications to colleges and universities.
Seven Mercersburg students have been chosen to represent the United States at RoboCup International 2018, which is set for June 18-22 in Montreal, Canada. 2018 will be the ninth consecutive year for Mercersburg students to compete at the international level of RoboCup, and the 10th time overall.
Pieces by Mercersburg seniors Elizabeth Im ’18 and Cole Kissam ’18 have been selected for professional publication. Im’s piece “Here Lies Lobster” will be published in this year’s The Apprentice Writer literary magazine, and Kissam’s poem “My Pregnant Mother Craves Orange Juice” recently appeared in The Emerson Review, Volume 47.
Fifty-five members of Mercersburg’s Class of 2018 have been selected to receive the President’s Education Award. The group hails from eight nations (including the U.S.) and 15 different American states; Pennsylvania (14) and Maryland (7) are home to the most recipients from the U.S.
Emmy Award-winning television producer Michael Davies ’85—who was the invited speaker at Mercersburg’s Commencement in 2016—has found a true calling as half of the famed soccer/football duo “Men in Blazers.” Davies and colleague/co-host Roger Bennett co-host a weekly television show by the same name on NBC Sports Network as well as a long-running (and similarly titled) podcast series and popular blog.
Mercersburg’s varsity baseball team defeated visiting Lawrenceville, 11-1, in game one of a doubleheader May 12 to clinch its eighth consecutive Mid-Atlantic Prep League championship. The Blue Storm completed a perfect 10-0 MAPL season by blanking the Big Red, 3-0 in game two for a 10-0 league mark.
Mercersburg Academy has announced that the pool inside the eagerly anticipated Lloyd Aquatic Center will be named the Furnary Pool in honor of Anthony “Tony” Furnary ’76, a leading cardiothoracic surgeon and a standout swimmer and student as well as a Mercersburg parent and sibling. View a gallery of photos from the groundbreaking and pool naming here.
Ten more student-athletes in Mercersburg’s Class of 2018 have officially announced the institutions where they will continue their academic and athletic careers. The group includes seven members who are headed to the United States Naval Academy, an eighth matriculating at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and two more bound for their home country of Canada.
Seventy-five years ago this May at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, some of baseball’s greatest players—Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, and Johnny Sain, just to name a few—took to the field for the first time as members of the Cloudbuster Nine, a baseball team at an elite Navy training school in North Carolina. The story of these baseball greats and their naval service during World War II might have remained largely hidden had it not been for their bat boy—Jim Raugh—and his daughter Anne Raugh Keene ’83, whose new book The Cloudbuster Nine: The Untold Story of Ted Williams and the Baseball Team That Helped Win World War II came out this week from Sports Publishing and is available at many major retailers.
For the second year in a row, a section of Mercersburg Academy’s campus became a playground for students from nearby Mercersburg Elementary School when the Academy’s Community Engagement Team hosted the 2018 Mercersburg Community Field Day May 3. More than 90 third- and fourth-graders enjoyed a day of fun with 78 student and faculty volunteers led by Tommy Sliskovich ’18. See photos from the day.
Mercersburg’s annual Springtalk Showcase April 30 in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre spotlighted one student (or multi-student group) from each of the school’s nine Springboard capstone courses for members of the senior class. The event was a required appointment for all Mercersburg students.
Class of 2018 member Bass Diakhoumpa addressed his fellow students and faculty during a school meeting April 27, recounting his unlikely return to Mercersburg this year as a postgraduate student following his graduation from Mercersburg last May.
The Washington Irving Literary Society and John Marshall Literary Society—Mercersburg’s two student literary societies—have selected their officers for the 2018–2019 school year. A total of 26 students will serve in these leadership roles, including new society presidents Hunter Roberts ’19 (Marshall) and Daphne Valen ’19 (Irving).
To commemorate Earth Day (Sunday, April 22), Mercersburg Academy’s Green Team—the school’s student-run environmentally focused group—visited Mercersburg Elementary School April 20 to distribute LED lightbulbs to 94 fourth- and fifth-grade students.
In support of the National School Walkout, approximately 100 Mercersburg students gathered near the steps of the Irvine Memorial Chapel at 10:30 a.m. April 20 for a student-initiated and student-planned rally to voice their opposition to the epidemic of gun violence in America—specifically (and especially) in schools.
Since she first came to Mercersburg Academy in August 1985, Pandora “Pandy” Yeakle has served the school community tirelessly. April 13 was her final day before she embarked on a well-deserved retirement after more than 32 years at the school.
The 130 members of Mercersburg’s senior class are giving their capstone presentations over the next three weeks. All seniors are enrolled in one of the school’s two capstone experiences: MAPS (Mercersburg’s Advanced Program for Global Studies) or Springboard, and will present their yearlong projects during the month of April.
Jayvien Sandridge ’18, a member of Mercersburg’s senior class and a three-year player on the Blue Storm’s varsity baseball team, signed a national letter of intent April 12 to attend the University of Central Florida and join the Knights’ baseball program beginning in 2018–2019. UCF is an NCAA Division I member (and the defending league baseball champion) of the American Athletic Conference.
The Mercersburg Area Community Chorus and Orchestra—under the direction of Mercersburg Academy Director of Music Richard Rotz—gave three performances of its 2018 Spring Concert April 14 and 15 in the Irvine Memorial Chapel on campus.
Academy Carillonneur James Brinson teamed with bagpiper Jason Weibel for a special carillon recital from Mercersburg’s Swoope Carillon April 8. Brinson and Weibel alternated pieces from the Barker Tower.
Mercersburg welcomed storyteller Julia Wiedeman Whitehouse ’98 back to campus April 6 for a school meeting in the Burgin Center for the Arts and for a workshop with the Women’s Activist Club and other interested students.
A celebration of Mercersburg’s 125th anniversary continues with the spring 2018 edition of Mercersburg magazine, which mails this week and is available in a digital format now. This issue highlights Mercersburg’s history from 1928-1972, focusing on the three headmasters and the nearly five decades of students who followed in the footsteps of founding headmaster William Mann Irvine.
Emmy-nominated filmmaker, speaker, and Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain delivered the Jacobs Residency Lecture at Mercersburg April 2 in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre. Shlain’s talk was the final offering in the school’s 2017-2018 Monday Evening Lecture Series. In addition to her lecture, Shlain held a book signing immediately following the event, and she met with students for a Q&A on Tuesday morning, April 3.
Eight students—an octet—from Collège-Lycée Saint-Joseph, Mercersburg’s sister school in Thônes, France, are making Mercersburg their home for two weeks from March 31 to April 14. 2018 is the sixth year of the exchange partnership between the two schools; a group of seven Mercersburg students will travel to France to return the exchange in June.
Andrew Young, who has served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, as a U.S. Congressman from Georgia, as mayor of the city of Atlanta, and as a key adviser to Martin Luther King Jr., addressed a school meeting at Mercersburg March 30 in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre.
Mercersburg’s Daniel Zeballos ’18 has been selected to receive a National Gold Medal in the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which is the nation’s longest-running and most-prestigious recognition for creative teens in grades 7-12. Zeballos earned the honor, which is bestowed upon less than 1 percent of the more than 350,000 submissions in the program, for his mixed-media piece “Inside Sunday.”
For the first time in recent memory, the Mercersburg Academy Chorale and James Buchanan High School’s Messa Voce appeared together in a combined choral concert. The performance was held March 23 in the Irvine Memorial Chapel on campus.
Mercersburg welcomed 26 members of the Class of 2018 into its chapter of the Cum Laude Society March 23. Dr. Margee Ensign, president of Dickinson College, was the featured speaker at Mercersburg’s Cum Laude Convocation 2018, which was held in the Irvine Memorial Chapel on campus.
Six Mercersburg students attended the International Student Leadership Symposium March 20-28 at Westlake Academy in Westlake, Texas (near Fort Worth). The group, which was accompanied by Dean of Student Life Chris Howes and history faculty member Jeff Adair ’98, was the 10th Mercersburg contingent to attend the annual event, which this year had a theme of “Ethics Gone Viral” and included eight schools from seven nations around the world.
Two groups of Mercersburg students spent the first week of the school’s Spring Vacation exploring parts of the western United States: on a Grand Canyon expedition with Mercersburg Outdoor Education and a trip to Northern California and Silicon Valley. Both trips departed March 3 and are coordinated by the school’s Office of Global Programs.
Like so many following the events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the heads of the six schools comprising the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) and Six Mid-Atlantic Boarding Schools (SMABS) believe we must do more as a country to protect students from gun violence. Those of us who work and live at schools feel the weight of this latest tragedy and cannot, and will not, be silent.
The John Marshall Literary Society emerged victorious for the third year in a row in Mercersburg's annual Irving-Marshall Week competition. Marshall won by a score of 1275-725, though Irving's Spencer Kurtyka '19 took first place at Declamation March 1.
The first group of 2018 German National Exam results are in, and 19 Mercersburg students are being recognized by the American Association of Teachers of German, which oversees the exam. Seven of those students earned the top rating—a Gold Medal.
Mercersburg track stars Sophia Divone ’19 and Mikale Williams ’18 competed in the Pennsylvania Track & Field Coaches Association Indoor State Championship at Penn State University (in State College, Pa.) February 25, while five Blue Storm wrestlers participated in the National Prep Wrestling Championships at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pa.) February 23-24.
Nick Rubino ’18 and Brad Rynkowski ’18, two standout student-athletes in Mercersburg’s senior class, have announced commitments to their respective college destinations. Rubino will play football at Hamilton College, while Rynkowski will join the cross country and track & field teams at Marist College.
Mercersburg announces the commitments of seven student-athletes in the Class of 2018, who are revealing the colleges and universities where they will enroll in fall 2018 to continue their athletic and academic careers.
At the 2018 Eastern Interscholastic Swimming & Diving Championships February 16-17, Mercersburg’s girls finished in third place and the Blue Storm boys took seventh place. Swimming events were held at Franklin & Marshall College’s Kunkel Aquatic Center in Lancaster, Pa., with diving events taking place at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pa.
Mercersburg alumna Rebecca Lowe ’99 is hosting NBC’s daytime coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics, which began February 8 in PyeongChang, South Korea. It marks the third Olympics Lowe has covered for the network, following the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
On December 6, Mercersburg’s Community Engagement Program visited the St. Thomas Food Pantry at St. Thomas United Methodist Church, a community organization that receives funding from South Central Community Action Programs Inc. Every Saturday and the first Wednesday of every month, this food bank provides monthly grocery items to low-income families of our region. Mercersburg’s trip to the pantry was arranged through the partnership of Community Engagement and United Way of Franklin County, a local non-profit organization committed to improving education, income, and health in the community. This visit was the first step in an ongoing food drive that Community Engagement organized to support St. Thomas.
When the United States Soccer Federation (known as “U.S. Soccer,” and the governing body for the sport in the U.S.) held its most high-profile presidential election ever February 10, Jessica Malone ’03 was among the voters.
Stony Batter Players, Mercersburg’s student theatre company, gave three performances of the classic Broadway musical Anything Goes February 9, 10, and 11 in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre.
Congratulations to the three student winners and one faculty winner of the Winter “Inspired by Writing” Contest. All four submitted creative work to the competition in response to “Tornado Skies,” an imagery-rich poem by Kate Frimet ’18, a member of this year’s senior class from Washingtonville, N.Y.
Mercersburg Academy—which has produced more than two dozen Olympians in swimming and is a regular contender at the prestigious Eastern Interscholastic Swimming & Diving Championships—is thrilled to announce that the school’s new aquatic center will be named the Lloyd Aquatic Center in honor of Board of Regents member Philip A. Lloyd ’65, his wife, Peggy, and their daughters, Kim ’90 and Bebe ’94.
Mercersburg Onward—the school’s largest annual off-campus event—was a destination for nearly 450 people January 26 in Washington, D.C. Alumni, parents, and friends of Mercersburg joined faculty, staff, and current students at the Four Seasons Hotel for a one-of-a-kind evening.
Pine Tree Ballads, an exhibit of photography by visiting artist Paul Thulin, is on display in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Cofrin and Niche Galleries through Sunday, Februrary 18. Thulin was on campus January 26 to visit with visual-arts students and to attend a reception spotlighting the exhibit.
Irving-Marshall Week 2018 at Mercersburg is less than a month away. The spirited annual renewal of the highly anticipated contest between the Washington Irving Literary Society and the John Marshall Literary Society kicks off Sunday, February 25, with athletic and skill contests. The highlight and culminating event of the week, Declamation (officially the “Irving-Marshall Prize Speaking Contest”), is set for Thursday, March 1, at 7:15 p.m. in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre.
Fifteen pieces by eight different Mercersburg students have been chosen for recognition in the 2018 South Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Work by Katie Brennan ’19, Joseph Yonke ’19, Daniel Zeballos ’18, and Alexandra Zhukova ’18 earned Gold Key awards and will advance to compete for awards at the national level.
Academy Carillonneur James Brinson and guest carilloneur John Widmann are giving carillon recitals Sunday afternoons in January from the Irvine Memorial Chapel’s Swoope Carillon. Brinson is the next scheduled performer Sunday, January 28, at 3 p.m. Recitals can be heard from inside the Chapel or from the Prentiss-Zimmerman Quad on campus. There is no admission charge.
On Monday, January 15, Mercersburg again chose to pause its regular daily class schedule for a full day of conversations and reflections surrounding issues of social justice, social equity, and identity. Following a successful daylong event with a similar format first held in October 2017, the school marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day by dividing into groups of 16–18 students and 2–3 faculty members for group and individual discussions and exploration.
Fourteen Mercersburg students spent four days in New York City January 11-14 for the Columbia University Model United Nations Conference and Exposition (or CMUNCE—pronounced “sea monkey”—for those in the know). This year’s conference—widely known as one of the premiere Model UN events in the U.S. and the world—was the 17th renewal (hence the acronym “CMUNCE XVII”). Mercersburg’s Kevin Lee ’20 won "Best Delegate" honors in his committee, “Petrograd Soviet, April 1917.”
Bryan Morgan ’07, Mercersburg’s director of Chorale and Jazz Band and faculty member since 2016, was recently interviewed for The Third Floor, a radio show on WWCF 88.7 FM. The show aired January 14 and featured Morgan’s interview with host Bill Cromwell, selections of Morgan’s favorite classical music, and the world premiere broadcast of Morgan’s original composition “The Fam Bam.”
The Lenfest Library faculty and staff hosted An Evening at Hogwarts, a literary-themed dinner based on the Harry Potter novels, January 12 in the Edwards Room of Keil Hall. For photos from the event, click here.
Eight students from Colegio Alemán de San Felipe, which is Mercersburg’s sister school in central Chile, arrived at Mercersburg for the 11th year of the exchange between the two schools January 10. The group is spending four weeks at Mercersburg and is scheduled to return to Chile February 8.
A solo dance piece choreographed and performed by Mercersburg’s Sarah Noorbakhsh ’21 has been selected for performance in the Showcase Concert of the 2018 National High School Dance Festival, which will be held February 28–March 4 at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. Her piece, Raien, originally premiered at the 2017 Fall Dance Concert in November.
Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a foreign-policy expert who specializes in Middle Eastern and Iranian affairs, gave a talk to the student body, faculty, and staff at a school meeting January 5 in the Irvine Memorial Chapel.
Six Mercersburg students have been saluted for their excellence in photography and videography in the seventh annual “Beat the Pros” photo and video contest, which is organized and judged by the school’s Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications.
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. 300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236 GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236 717-328-6173