Linden Hall at 275: Moravian Roots, a Diverse Student Body, and Notable Alumni | past years
Some students wandered around their school wondering who had walked the halls before them, had their locker homework, or sat in their seat for English class. Perhaps they caught a glimpse of these former students in trophy boxes or photos scattered throughout the school.
But Grace Remollino has had the chance to get personal with alumni of her school, Linden Hall.
“You get this romanticized idea of the past and it’s this old-fashioned, perfect, elegant concept,” said Remollino, a member of the school’s class of 2022. “When you really go in and read letters and scrapbooks that people had, it gives you a more personal sense of what their life was like.
And when your school has been around for 275 years, there’s a lot to discover.
Linden Hall, the girls’ school in Lititz with boarding facilities, celebrated its 275th anniversary this year.
Remollino originally led a survey of Linden Hall’s archives, dating to the early 19th century, to help promote “The Echo”, the school’s literary magazine, of which Remollino was the editor. Although Echo’s archives do not date back to the school’s inception, Remollino has explored the school’s history since 1882.
The project eventually grew to be much larger as Remollino’s love of history inspired her to keep digging.
Remollino’s project was just one of the ways Linden Hall marked this milestone anniversary. The school has held many “parties and festivities,” including a gala, says Nan Wodarz, the school’s current principal and Linden Hall’s first female principal.
Wodarz says many of the founding principles of Linden Hall’s Moravian roots are still present in the school today. But there has also been quite a bit of development, including the school’s growing international student population.
Here’s a look back at Linden Hall’s roots and the state of the school today.
The Moravian faith is an integral part of Linden Hall. Founded in 1746 by Moravians, Linden Hall’s presence predates the United States of America. Linden Hall was launched with the motto of the Moravians in mind: “In essence, unity. In the non-essential, freedom. In all things, love.
Carol Dague, the Moravian Church representative on the Linden Hall board, described 18th- and 19th-century Moravians as “progressive” and committed to the education of young women. (The school statutes require a Moravian representative on the board.)
“The boys were already in school, so they decided to start a school for girls in 1746, and it has been running continuously ever since,” Dague said. “The idea of educating girls was very Moravian.”
Linden Hall was the second girls’ boarding school at the time, preceded by Bethlehem Female Seminary – also founded by the Moravians – in Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1742. The first public high schools for girls in the United States opened only ‘to 1826.
In the early years of Linden Hall, the Moravian religion played an important role in education. Dague says it was likely they had daily chapel hours, prayer times, and religion classes.
When it was founded, Linden Hall was an entity of the Moravian Church. The school is no longer a church entity, but is still associated with the Moravian faith. Because of this continued association, many Moravian values are still incorporated into life at Linden Hall.
Dague described that students can attend services at Mary Dixon Chapel if they wish, but they have religious freedom.
“They integrate all religious denominations into their lives. I must also say that the Moravians would be very happy about it,” said Dague. “We are very ecumenical.
The on-campus chapel is where religious functions are held. Wodarz said the story behind the chapel is his favorite historical tale on campus. Mary Dixon, aged 19, died three years after graduating from Linden Hall Seminary. Her father, grappling with her death, decided to return to Linden Hall to establish a chapel in her name in 1883.
Possibility to embark
One of Linden Hall’s unique features is the school’s boarding option. Linden Hall offers three different options for students to attend.
Boarding students can either board full-time or board during weekdays. About 57% of Linden Hall students board in some form.
There are also a large number of students who live nearby and choose not to board at Linden Hall. Non-boarders make up about 43% of the school’s students.
The boarding school option allows girls from across the country and around the world to receive a Linden Hall education. According to the Linden Hall website, students at the school represent 25 countries and 13 states.
Wodarz said boarders have a sense of freedom and often head into town after school for ice cream or shopping around Lititz.
Residence halls located on the 49-acre campus provide boarding students with proximity to their classes during the day.
Tuition for day students is $28,000 per year. Weekday boarding fees are $53,354 per year and 7-day boarding fees are $62,696. Linden Hall offers merit scholarships of up to 20% of tuition fees. Need-based financial assistance is also available.
A big facet of life and education at Linden Hall is their international student population, which has been around since the mid-20th century. In 1957, Linden Hall represented five foreign countries. Students now represent 37 countries. Although the pandemic has made it difficult for some students to obtain visas, the role of international students remains important on the Linden Hall campus.
Many international students choose to call Linden Hall home because of its unique STEM program with diverse course options, says Wodarz. Linden Hall offers courses such as Multivariate Calculus and Forensic Science. Wodarz said the school is looking at college course rosters and valued skills in the job market, to adapt and expand its course offerings to reflect the world after high school.
A safe campus environment and convenient location in “America’s Cutest Small Town,” a short drive from Philadelphia, New York, and other major metropolitan areas are also attractive factors for international students.
Wodarz said the cultures of international students influence life at Linden Hall, including the dining hall’s cuisine, which frequently features Jamaican, Indian and Asian options, among others.
Due to the strong presence of international students, young women at Linden Hall gain greater cultural sensitivity and are better prepared to “compete on the world stage,” Wodarz said.
“We continue to focus on a very inclusive community,” Wodarz said.
During his archival project, Remollino unearthed and organized nearly every artifact that has been rescued over the past 275 years. Remollino says she gained a new perspective on the young women who came before her.
“When you see what people looked like in a yearbook and all the extracurriculars, there’s so much more to it than meets the eye,” Remollino said. “People are so complex. It was really interesting to see on paper and find letters and scrapbooks that really tell who they were.
Thanks to the well-preserved archives, Remollino had the opportunity to read primary documents written by students during the First and Second World Wars.
“Linden Hall operated during World War I and World War II, so it was something the students had to experience,” Remollino said. “They were real people.”
One of Remollino’s favorite artifacts was a Linden Hall field hockey uniform that was donated by the daughter of a former student.
“There was an old field hockey uniform from the 1940s,” Remollino said. “I thought it was so cool to have a piece of physical history right there. We asked the old one who put it back. It was so cute to see after all the time that’s been going on. had passed.
In addition to organizing the archive room, Remollino decorated a display case with handpicked artifacts from the 1800s. Some of these artifacts included campus signs, clips from “The Echo,” and photographs of students at the time.
At the alumni gala, the school used Remollino’s work through a “pop-up” history exhibit that included class banners, Linden Hall pins, rings, and old posters, among other artifacts. .
Remollino graduated this spring and will study teaching English, with a minor in journalism, at Elizabethtown College.
Other ways students celebrated the 275th birthday included the annual Gretna Day, which dates back to 1915. Gretna Day was originally started as a day off school for students to celebrate the birthday of the headmaster of the school. era, Frederick William Stengel. Now the students are celebrating by heading north to Mount Gretna in Lebanon County to hike, eat and rollerblade. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the event was held on campus.
“Although we have been around since 1746, we continue to write history,” Remollino said. “We’ve been through a lot, but we’re still evolving as a community.”
Linden Hall’s fall semester for the 2022-2023 school year begins August 22.