An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Episcopal Academy, Merion, Pennsylvania, The

The vestry of Christ Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded The Episcopal Academy on Jan. 1, 1785. It opened on Apr. 4, 1785. The president of the board of trustees was the rector of Christ Church, the Rev. William White. Among the founders were Robert Morris and Francis Hopkinson, signers of the Declaration of Independence, Edwin Shippen, later Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, and Richard Peters, a federal judge. In 1787 the academy's trustees laid the cornerstone of a new school building two doors from Independence Hall. The faculty included the Rev. John Andrews (1746-1813), later provost of the University of Pennsylvania. The most notable faculty member in 1787 was Noah Webster, editor of Webster's Dictionary. The academy was established to teach Anglican doctrine. In 1789 the trustees set up free schools for 80 boys and 40 girls. In 1921 after merging with two other schools, the academy sold its building and purchased property in Merion, just west of Philadelphia's city limits. In 1970 the trustees decided to make the academy coeducational. It has campuses in Merion and in Devon, Pennsylvania.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.