The Hill School- The Family Boarding School
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Hill School History and Trivia

What was the original name of The Hill School?
Family Boarding School for Boys and Young Men. The Family Boarding School was the first of its kind in America. According to John Chancellor’s The History of The Hill, “He [Meigs] wanted to stress that he was not founding still another academy, but a type of school quite new and rare in America. There is a tendency to think that the boys’ boarding school as we know it existed as long as there have been private schools. It has not. Most of the 12 to 15 schools generally considered the “core” group were established in the last half of the nineteenth century…Of this whole group of schools, The Hill was the first to be founded as a family boarding school."

When was the School founded? 1851

Who was the founder and first Headmaster of the School?
Reverend Matthew Meigs

How many students attended The Hill the first year it opened?
Twenty-five: 12 boarding students and 13 day students

What was the original cost of tuition in 1851?
$200.00 per year for English, Greek, and Latin; included boarding

In what year did “THE HILL” School first appear on a circular as the new name of the school? 1874

Who succeeded Matthew Meigs as headmaster and in what year?
His son, John Meigs, in 1876

To distinguish him from his father, what did John Meigs prefer to be called?
The Professor

What natural disaster brought damage to the School in both 1884 and 1890?
Fire. The fire in 1890 nearly destroyed the entire School.

When did the School adopt the colors blue and gray?
Michael Sweeney, former athletics director, declared the School's colors blue and gray in 1897 as a symbol of reconciliation between the North and South following the Civil War.

What is the name of the School’s hymn and when did it appear?
"Upon a Hill Our City Stands" 1900

What is the School’s motto?
"Whatsoever things are true" (Philippians 4:8) chosen by Headmaster Alfred G. Rolfe who served as headmaster from 1911 to 1914.

Who were the only two headmasters to serve at The Hill who were not married?
Alfred G. Rolfe (1911-1914) and Edward T. Hall (1952-1968)

What change in the community system occurred in 1953 under Headmaster Edward Hall? The establishment of the prefect system.

Which headmaster served the second longest term at The Hill?
Matthew Meigs, who served for 25 years (1851-1876); James Wendell served for 23 years (1928 to 1952)

What headmaster encouraged the idea of community service among Hill students, improving the relationship with The Hill and the borough of Pottstown?
Archibald "Tad" Montgomery (1968-1973)

What is the name of The Hill’s arch-rival in athletics?
Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J. The Hill School football rivalry with Lawrenceville dates back to 1887.

Which coach helped wrestling become a popular winter sport at The Hill?
Frank Bissell '33

What varsity sport was created in 1975 under Headmaster Charles Watson?
Water polo

What was The Hill School’s first year of coeducation?
1998-1999; The Hill graduated 13 young women in 1999.

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