This article contains text that is written in a promotional tone. (June 2023)
Northfield Mount Hermon School, often abbreviated as NMH, is a co-educational college-preparatory school for boarding and day students in grades 9–12, along with a post-graduate year. Located in Gill, Massachusetts, it is a member of the Eight Schools Association and Six Schools League.
|Northfield Mount Hermon|
1 Lamplighter Way
|School type||Private, boarding|
|Motto||Education for the Head, Heart, and Hand|
|Founder||Dwight L. Moody|
|Head of school||Brian H. Hargrove|
|Faculty||90 (on an FTE basis)|
|Enrollment||672 total |
|Average class size||12|
|Student to teacher ratio||6:1|
|Campus size||215 acres (core campus), 1,353 acres (total land holdings)|
|Color(s)||Maroon and light blue|
|Athletics||20 interscholastic sports; 67 teams|
The school was founded by Protestant evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody as the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies in 1879 (later called the Northfield School for Girls) and the Mount Hermon School for Boys in 1881. Moody built the girls' school in Northfield, Massachusetts, the town of his birth, and the boys' school a few miles away in the town of Gill. Both were "opportunity" schools created for the deserving poor who had no other means to acquire an education.
From their beginnings, both schools attracted highly diverse students. Moody's goal was to provide the best possible education for young people without privilege, and he enrolled students whose parents were slaves as well as Native Americans and people from other countries, which was unprecedented among elite private schools at that time. Sixteen of the Northfield students who matriculated in 1880 were Native Americans, as were four Mount Hermon boys in 1882; at Mount Hermon's first commencement in 1887, one student addressed the audience "in his native language, for the representatives of the Sioux, Shawnee, and Alaskan tribes in the school." An 1887 report lists 8 Chinese, 5 Indians, 2 Negroes, and 1 Japanese student at Mount Hermon; by 1889 their numbers had risen to 37 students from 15 countries, and in 1904 to 113 students from 27 countries ranging from Burma through Denmark. In the 1940s it was one of a handful of American private schools with admissions for non-white students.
Each student is required to hold a job on campus, working three hours a week each school year. This contribution to the operation of the school stems from the school's founder, Dwight Lyman Moody, and his desire for students to understand the value of manual labor. 
In June 2016, The Trust for Public Land and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation ensured the complete and permanent protection of 1,300 acres of forest land which was previously the Northfield campus and owned by the Northfield Mount Hermon School for over a century. Although now a permanent part of the Northfield State Forest, it had been the largest parcel of unprotected land in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The property includes woodlands, trails and a reservoir which will be managed by the DCR to ensure public access for recreation as well as serve as important habitat for wildlife.
- Founder's Day - In early February, NMH honors its founder, D.L. Moody, who was born on February 5, 1837. Each year on Founder’s Day, he is remembered with a special school meeting as well as a birthday dinner. A giant one-tined fork is passed from seniors to juniors. The fork has symbolic significance to NMH: It is reported that at an early commencement, a speaker stated that anyone could eat soup with a spoon, but it took a real person to eat soup with a one-tined fork. Moody was so taken with the image that he declared, “Whatever else you forget, remember that forever.” Over the years, seniors presenting the fork to juniors have interpreted the meaning of the one-tined fork differently, but everyone agrees that it represents a can-do attitude.
- Rope Pull - Rope Pull has been around since 1884, and has been held at Shadow Lake since 1926. Juniors and seniors line up on either end of Shadow Lake, take a hold of one end of a thick length of rope, and tug with all their might. Seniors often win.
- Mountain Day - A tradition that dates back to 1881, Mountain Day is a surprise fall holiday, announced to the school community a day in advance. Classes are canceled and students and faculty go hiking at the peak of foliage season (seniors climb New Hampshire’s 3,165-foot Mount Monadnock).
- Bemis-Forslund Pie Race - The annual Bemis-Forslund Pie Race is a 5K footrace named for Henry Bemis (class of 1891), who donated prizes starting in 1908, and for Gladys Hall Forslund ’26, wife of longtime Mount Hermon Athletic Director Axel Forslund. Apple pies are awarded to runners who complete the course in a specified time.
- NMH Vespers - Held in a candlelit Memorial Chapel since the 1930s, NMH Vespers is a combined choral and orchestral service including Bible readings, Christmas melodies, and other seasonal music. There are two services on campus in addition to an off-campus service, held alternately in New York and Boston.
- Sacred Concert - A combined choral and orchestral performance with history more than a century old, performed for the community by NMH students and faculty in early May.
Arts programs edit
The 65,000 sq ft (6,000 m2) Gold LEED certified Rhodes Arts Center (at right) is the home of all of the arts programs at NMH. It houses two concert performance spaces, a black-box theater, two dance studios, an art gallery, classrooms, art studios, practice rooms, and faculty offices. Additionally, the RAC is home to the Class of 1958 Carillon, which was originally installed in Sage Chapel in 1924. The funds to make the move possible were spearheaded by the combined Mount Hermon and Northfield classes of '58. It can be played via an electronic keyboard situated in the bottom of the bell-tower. Memorial Chapel houses the school's own tracker action organ. Andover Organ Company Opus 67, completed in December 1970 and donated by Kenneth H. Rockey is a 2-manual 27-stop, 37-rank tracker organ with a pedal compass of 30, and a manual compass of 56.
Extra-curricular activities edit
Many of the activities that NMH students are involved in are considered classes or part of the work program; others are organized outside the curriculum. NMH's Student Activities office provides support, services, and resources for student organizations, including places to meet, materials, and funding.
Notable alumni edit
- Thomas Nelson Baker Sr., 1889, first African-American to receive a PhD in philosophy in the United States
- Elizabeth Barrows Ussher, 1891, Christian missionary
- Lee de Forest, 1893, controversial radio pioneer
- William G. Morgan, 1893, inventor of volleyball
- Howard Thurston, 1893, magician
- Ernest Yarrow, 1897, director of the Near East Foundation
- Belle da Costa Greene, librarian of the Morgan Library & Museum
- Peter Moss, 1976, college basketball player
- Juliana R. Force, 1900, art museum administrator and director, first director of the Whitney Museum of American Art
- Pixley Seme, 1902, founder of the African National Congress
- Chester Barnard, 1906, president of the Rockefeller Foundation and chairman of the National Science Foundation
- Henry Roe Cloud, 1906, educator and government official
- Mohini Maya Das, 1906, Indian Christian educator, YWCA leader
- Harry Kemp, tramp poet, c. 1907 (expelled)
- DeWitt Wallace, 1907, founder of Reader's Digest
- Walter Harper, c. 1916, first person to reach the summit of Denali (Mount McKinley)
- Monroe W. Smith, 1919, founder of American Youth Hostels
- Susie Walking Bear Yellowtail, early 1920s (d.n.g), first Crow registered nurse
- S. Prestley Blake, 1934, founder of Friendly's Ice Cream
- Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1937, poet
- Tad Mosel, 1940, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright for All the Way Home
- James W. McLamore, 1943, founder of Burger King
- John E. Kingston, 1944, Majority Leader of the New York State Assembly and New York Supreme Court judge
- Franklin B. Sherwood, 1945-1947, Professor of Economics at Univ. of Massachusetts
- Mary C. Potter, 1947-1948, professor of psychology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- James Nabrit III, 1948, prominent civil rights attorney, son of James Nabrit, Jr.
- Richard Gilder, 1950, co-founder of Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, philanthropist
- William C. Pryor, 1950, Chief Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
- Anna Diggs Taylor, 1950, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- David Hartman, 1952, television host
- William R. Rhodes, 1953, Chairman of Citicorp and Chairman Emeritus of the NMH Board of Trustees
- June Jordan, 1953, poet, professor of African American Studies, UC Berkeley
- J. Stapleton Roy, 1953, senior United States diplomat and ambassador to China, Indonesia and Singapore
- Edward W. Said, 1953, Palestinian American literary theorist and cultural critic
- Neil Sheehan, 1954, author
- Jane English, 1960, academic, photographer
- Frank Shorter, 1965, Olympic Gold Medalist marathoner
- Lynne Anderson, 1965, Professor Emerita of Education, University of Oregon 
- William Ackerman, 1967, founder of Windham Hill Records and 2005 Grammy Award winner
- Natalie Cole, 1968, Grammy Award-winning vocalist
- Amy Domini, 1968, the "first lady of social investing"
- Viola Baskerville, 1969, Member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Virginia Secretary of Administration
- Willie Wolfe, 1969, founding member of the Symbionese Liberation Army
- Dore Gold, 1971, former Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations
- Chip Elliott, 1972, engineer
- Erik Lindgren, 1972, composer, leader of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic
- Tim Stryker, 1972, computer programmer
- Jim Keller, 1972, vocals, guitar Tommy Tutone
- Valerie Jarrett, 1974, Senior Advisor to Barack Obama
- John S. Chen, 1974, CEO of BlackBerry
- Helen DeWitt, 1975, novelist
- Timothy Horrigan, 1975, Member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives
- Thom Gimbel, 1977, rhythm guitar, saxophone, flute, keyboards, vocals Foreigner (band)
- Taggart Siegel, 1977, Documentary Filmmaker Queen of the Sun
- Elizabeth Perkins, 1978, actress
- Rick Boyages, 1981, Associate Commissioner for Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball
- Michael M. Gilday, 1981, Chief of Naval Operations, U. S. Navy
- Laura Linney, 1982, actress
- Buster Olney, 1982, sports writer
- Dylan Brody, 1982, humorist, author, comedian, playwright, and poet
- Kim Raver, 1985, actor
- Bryan Callen, 1985, actor, comedian
- Arn Chorn-Pond, 1986, activist and musician
- Hasok Chang, 1985, historian and philosopher of science
- Uma Thurman, 1988 (d.n.g.), actor/model
- Samantha Hunt, 1989, novelist, essayist and short-story writer
- John Edgar Park, 1990, author, host of Make: television
- Warren Webster, 1991, president and co-founder of Patch Media
- Misha Collins, 1992, actor
- John D'Agata, 1992, author
- Aaron Schuman, 1995, photographer, writer, curator and educator
- Brian Pothier, 1996, professional ice hockey player
- Yasmin Vossoughian, 1996, news anchor, Yasmin Vossoughian Reports, MSNBC
- David de Burgh Graham, 1999, Liberal Party MP in House of Commons of Canada
- Anna Schuleit, visual artist
- YaYa DaCosta, 2000, actress
- Kimmie Weeks, 2001, human rights activist; winner of the 2007 BR!CK award
- Dallas Baker, 2002, professional football player
- Tony Gaffney, 2004, basketball player in the Israeli Basketball Premier League
- Brian Strait, 2006, professional ice hockey player for the New York Islanders
- Oliver Drake, 2006, American professional baseball pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays
- Clive Weeden, 2007, professional basketball player
- Tessa Gobbo, 2009, Olympic gold medalist (2016) women's rowing
- Spike Albrecht, 2012, University of Michigan basketball guard
- Kellan Grady, 2017, Davidson College basketball player
View of the gymnasium
Topographic map of NMH School environs
- Askins, Kathryn (2009). Bridging Cultures: American Indian Students at the Northfield Mount Hermon School. University of New Hampshire. p. 116, 119-120.
- Curry, Joseph (1972). Mount Hermon from 1881 to 1971 : an historical analysis of a distinctive American boarding school. University of Massachusetts, Amherst. p. 59-61.
- Yoo, Paula (2021). From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement (1 ed.). Norton Young Readers. p. 166. ISBN 9781324002871. - read online
- Official Website
- "Northfield Forest". The Trust for Public Land.
- NMH School
- NMH School
- NMH School
- NMH School
- NMH School
- NMH School
- "Ultimate Frisbee - Northfield Mount Hermon: Best Private Boarding and Day Schools". www.nmhschool.org.
- Lawson, Steve E. (2015-06-11). "Andover Organ Co. Opus 67 (1970)". The OHS Pipe Organ Database. Archived from the original on 2017-03-31. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
- Student Activities office, NMH website Archived May 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- "Prominent Alumni | Northfield Mount Hermon". Nmhschool.org. Archived from the original on 2011-06-18. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
- "New Light on Belle da Costa Greene". 15 March 2021.
- Theobald, Brianna (2016). "Nurse, Mother, Midwife—: Susie Walking Bear Yellowtail and the Struggle for Crow Women's Reproductive Autonomy". Montana: The Magazine of Western History. 66 (3): 17–35. ISSN 0026-9891. JSTOR 26322872.
- "NMH Magazine 2015 Fall by Northfield Mount Hermon - Issuu". issuu.com. Retrieved 2022-12-26.
- "Hasok Chang CV" (PDF). ucl.ac.uk. University College London. 2009-12-21. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-11. Retrieved 2016-05-14.