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The Baldwin School

The Baldwin School (simply referred to as Baldwin School or Baldwin) is a PK–12 girls private school in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, United States. It was founded in 1888 by Florence Baldwin.

The Baldwin School
701 Montgomery Avenue


United States
Other names
  • Baldwin School
  • Baldwin
TypePrivate school
MottoLatin: Disce Verum Laborem
Established1888; 131 years ago (1888)
FounderFlorence Baldwin
NCES School ID01197719[1]
Head of schoolMarisa Porges[2]
Teaching staff78.6 (on an FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment571 (2015-2016)[1]
Student to teacher ratio7.0[1]
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)Blue and Gray         
Athletics conferenceInter-Academic League
MascotWinnie the Bear
Team nameBaldwin Bears
  • Echoes
  • Florilège
  • El Pimiento
  • The Roman Candle
  • The Baldwin Review
NewspaperThe Hourglass[3]
Bryn Mawr Hotel
Pennsylvania state historical marker
The Baldwin School is located in Pennsylvania
The Baldwin School
The Baldwin School is located in the United States
The Baldwin School
LocationMorris and Montgomery Aves., Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Coordinates40°1′23″N 75°18′46″W / 40.02306°N 75.31278°W / 40.02306; -75.31278Coordinates: 40°1′23″N 75°18′46″W / 40.02306°N 75.31278°W / 40.02306; -75.31278
Area1.5 acres (0.61 ha)
ArchitectFurness, Evans, & Co.; Furness, Frank
Architectural styleRenaissance, French Chateau, Other
NRHP reference #79002300[4]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPApril 27, 1979
Designated PHMCApril 11, 2000[5]

The school occupies a 19th-century resort hotel designed by Victorian architect Frank Furness, a landmark of the Philadelphia Main Line.[6] The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 27, 1979.[4]

Baldwin's brother school is the Haverford School, in nearby Haverford.[7] The two schools are regarded as the premier single-sex schools in the Philadelphia area, and regularly compete with the Brunswick/Greenwich duo in Connecticut. Locally, Baldwin/Haverford compete with many schools, such as Springside/Chestnut Hill and the Episcopal Academy, both in academics and athletics.


In 1888, Florence Baldwin founded "Miss Baldwin's School for Girls, Preparatory for Bryn Mawr College" in her mother's house at the corner of Montgomery and Morris Avenues in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.[8] The first class was composed of thirteen girls.[citation needed]

"The Residence" (formerly Bryn Mawr Hotel) by Furness, Evans & Company. The second Bryn Mawr Hotel opened May 30, 1891).

The second Bryn Mawr Hotel was designed by Furness, Evans & Company and built in 1890-91. It is a five-story, "L" shaped stone-and-brick building in a Renaissance Revival / châteauesque style. It features a large semi-circular section at the main entrance, topped by a conical roof and finial. It has a steeply pitched red roof with a variety of dormers, chimneys, towers, finials, and skylights.[9]

In 1896, The Baldwin School began leasing the Bryn Mawr Hotel during the winter months for use as a dormitory for its boarding students. They leased it year-round beginning in 1912. In 1922, the school purchased the building and the surrounding 25 acres (100,000 m2) for $240,000.

Today the school has made many additions to "The Residence", as it is called, but has maintained the elegance of the original building. It is now used for the dining hall, many art studios, a black box, apartments for faculty and staff, music classes, and an Early Childhood Center. It also has many lounge areas for students and others.[10]

A two-story science building opened in 1961; it was enlarged in 1995 to accommodate the increasing number of students. The Upper and Middle Schools inhabit the three-story Schoolhouse, which was built in 1926. It was renovated in 1997. The Middle School on the third floor was renovated again in the summer of 2018.

Grades 1-5 are housed in the Lower School building, which was completed in 1974. Changes have been made, for instance, painting the walls bright colors, to make it a warmer learning environment for the younger girls.

Renovations completed in 2014 to "The Residence" specifically support the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes.[10] In 2015, a performing arts center was built called The Simpson Center, which can be used for many different events. [10]

The school formally opened a new athletic center in 2008. It has a six-lane swimming pool, gymnasium, three-lane jogging track, 4 squash courts, fitness center, and multipurpose meeting/activity space. It is accompanied by a five tennis courts and a practice field.[10]


$2.8 million in scholarships is distributed annually to 28% of the students. The average grant awarded was $18,261. [11]

Student bodyEdit

Students of color represent 40% of the student body.[11] The Baldwin School is not religiously associated.


Twenty six percent of the Class of 2014 attended Ivy League institutions. Twenty seven percent of the Class of 2015 was recognized by the National Merit® Scholarship Program.[12] Thirty two percent of the Class of 2018 went on to attend Ivy League institutions.

Baldwin has a high percentage of graduates majoring and working in math and science fields, about 1/3 greater than the national average for women.[13][14] In 2014, 28% of the graduates pursued a degree in science and engineering.[12]



Baldwin's music education begins in the Lower School. Students receive twice weekly music classes and sing in weekly choruses in Grades 3-5. Students perform in musical plays once a year. In Middle School, chorus, orchestra and classes in guitar and hand bell are available. In Upper School, ensembles include a jazz band, classical chamber music ensemble Firenze, two hand bell choirs, chorus, select a cappella vocal ensemble Baldwin B-Flats, select singing ensemble Eliza-B-thans and an orchestra. Each ensemble is featured during multiple evening concerts throughout the year.

The Middle School Chorus participates annually in the Music in the Parks competition at Hershey Park in May. At the 2014 competition, the Middle School Chorus received a Superior rating and the Best Overall Middle School Chorus trophy for their performances. Every three years, the Upper School ensembles take a week and a half performance tour to a destination abroad. Past destinations include Vienna, Austria, Tuscany, Italy, Budapest, Hungary, Stockholm, Sweden, Oslo, Norway and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Baldwin Conservatory offers weekly private instruction on piano, voice, violin, viola, flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, trumpet, trombone, guitar, ukulele, banjo and harp. The Baldwin Conservatory has had many accomplished musicians as faculty including pianist and composer Jean Paul Kürsteiner.


In the 2013-14 school year:

  • a student won a gold medal at Alliance for Young Artists & Writers's Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for her dramatic script.
  • a student placed 1st in the Monologue Competition at the Zak-Pac Convention for Performing Arts.
  • Middle and Upper School drama students submitted plays to the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival and one student received a stage reading of her play as part of Pizza and Playwrights.
  • one student placed 2nd and another placed 3rd in the Philadelphia Young Playwrights’ Annual Play writing Festival.
  • an excerpt from a student's original work was featured in an Off-Broadway Dramatic Reading Series at the ART.WRITE.NOW 2014 National Exhibition in June.
  • a student was one of 30 American and international actors ages 12 to 19 who traveled to the Czech Republic to perform "I Never Saw Another Butterfly" within the walls of Terezin Concentration Camp.

Visual Art

Baldwin offers lessons in hand and wheel ceramics, computer graphics, photography, jewelry making, painting and sculpture. The School's Rembrandt antique-style etching press was restored during the 2013-14 school year and used extensively for Middle School and Upper School Art Exhibition student works. 2013-14 Upper School students had their work displayed in the Tyler School of Art's "Clay Programs of Excellence" and the After-School Enrichment Ceramics classes displayed their work at Bryn Mawr's Ludington Memorial Library.[15]


The Baldwin School competes in the Inter-Academic League, most commonly known as the Inter-Ac. Interscholastic varsity sports are: Basketball, Cross-Country, Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Rowing, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Volleyball, and Indoor Track. Dance is also offered, and students also have the option of Independent PE if they are seriously committed to a sport outside of school such as horseback riding or ice skating, or any sport included in Baldwins program. Athletes who do participate in IPE are required to play their sport for Baldwin during the season if it is an offered sport. PE is another option, which is during the school day, for either 45 or 70 minutes.

Baldwin is especially strong in tennis, softball, squash, and lacrosse, whose teams regularly travel to the Pittsburgh, New York, and Baltimore areas for heightened competition.[16] The Baldwin Bears have recently been Inter-Ac champions in softball, lacrosse, and squash. Its longtime local rival has been the Episcopal Academy in Newtown.

The Baldwin School's athletic center features an indoor track, swimming pool, multiple locker rooms, team meeting room, fitness center, dance studio, squash courts, and basketball court. The building features solar reflective roofing, regionally sourced materials, Energy Star equipment and appliances, and an indoor air quality management system. [17]


Baldwin is best known for its squash program. Each class regularly consists of a couple nationally ranked squash players, many of whom compete internationally across Europe, Canada, and South America. Several Baldwin Squash alumni have gone to play the sport at various Ivy League schools. Many of these players are also among the strongest academically at Baldwin, earning honors including National Merit and induction into the Cum Laude Society.

Baldwin's longstanding rival in squash has been Greenwich Academy in Connecticut. In 2015, the upper school team defeated Greenwich in the US Squash Championships at Trinity College. The school's middle school team won the national championship against Greenwich in 2016 and 2018. The upper school team again faced Greenwich in the 2018 national championships, but lost 1-6.[18] However, in 2019, Baldwin was able to defeat Greenwich 5-2 in the national championships. This ended a 3-year streak of Greenwich being the reigning national champions.[19]

Notable alumnaeEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Search for Private Schools – School Detail for The Baldwin School". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  2. ^ "Head of School". The Baldwin School. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Publications". The Baldwin School. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  5. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers". Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "The Baldwin School Archives". Baldwin School. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  9. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Note: This includes Hyman Myers (n.d.). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Bryn Mawr Hotel" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  10. ^ a b c d [1]
  11. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2010-11-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-09. Retrieved 2014-12-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-09. Retrieved 2014-12-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^,pa)/girls-lacrosse/schedule.htm
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ [2]
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-06. Retrieved 2014-12-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "2014 - 2015 Class of White House Fellows". The White House. Archived from the original on 2015-07-14.

External linksEdit