The School's Founding
This historical summary traces the roots of The Episcopal Academy from its founding in 1785 to a more modern incarnation in 1921. Since that time, the school has moved its campus from Merion, Pennsylvania to Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. It has become a coeducational institution, increased its enrollment, added numerous AP courses and new foreign languages, expanded its athletic offerings, welcomed exchange students, and sent students far and wide.
At its core, The Episcopal Academy remains true to its early mission – to provide students with a rigorous course of study in preparation for undergraduate work – by applying itself always to the improvement of the young people in its care.
The vestry of the United Churches of Christ Church and St. Peter’s established a committee on the 27th of October in 1784 to see how expediently an academy could be established in connection to the churches. William White, Benjamin Wynkoop, Matthew Clarkson, John Chaloner and Gerardus Clarkson made up the committee and on the 8th of November in 1784 they determined this venture was feasible.
On January 1st, 1785, Philadelphia newspapers announced subscribers of the new Academy of the Protestant Episcopal Church had met at Christ Church to enact Fundamental Laws and elect trustees. These trustees included the Reverends William White (President), Robert Blackwell and Samuel Magaw along with Robert Morris, Thomas Willing, Richard Peters, Edward Shippen, Andrew Doz, Abraham Markoe, Peter Baynton, Dr. Gerardus Clarkson, Francis Hopkinson, William Pollard, Alexander Wilcocks, John Wilcocks and John Swanwick. Among these men were two signers of the Declaration of Independence, bankers, lawyers, merchants, and Reverends – members of the elite class of the city.