This fall we are celebrating the 95th anniversary of the 1924 founding of Northampton School for Girls, which merged with Williston Academy in 1971. Many Northampton alumnae consider their school a unique, special place. It is harder, with nearly half a century’s perspective, to pin down just what the essence of Northampton School was. But recently a survey of ‘Hamp alumnae came to hand. It comes close. The study was carried out in 1965 and published in their Alumnae News the following year.That report is reproduced here in its entirety, without further commentary. We’ve included a few additional photographs mostly because we like them, and they break up the page. They’re not meant to illustrate any particular narrative. (As always, please click each image to enlarge.)
Northampton School for Girls founders Sarah Whitaker and Dorothy Bement sent annual Christmas cards, usually featuring the work of Northampton photographer Eric Stahlberg, whose many images of the campus often had a silvery, soft-focus quality. (Mr. Stahlberg will be the subject of a future post.) The line art is much in keeping with the popular taste of the time.
Happy holidays from the Williston Northampton Archives!
by Richard Teller ’70, Archivist and Librarian. Originally published as a “web extra” to the Fall 2011 Bulletin.
The idea of a formal statement of mission is relatively new, but schools have always had equivalents, whether found in the prefaces to catalogs or as essential portions of re-accreditation studies. It would appear impractical, if not impossible, to found a school without some kind of declaration of one’s purpose in doing so. At the time of their founding, both Northampton School for Girls and Williston Seminary, as it was originally called, issued documents that not only set out their plans, but reflected the personalities of their founders.
Northampton School for Girls, which opened in 1924, was imagined by Sarah B. Whitaker and Dorothy M. Bement to be rightly considered … the lineal descendant of their former employer, the Capen School for Girls. They said as much in a 1923 prospectus, “Announcing the Northampton School for Girls”: