School NewsJul 11, 2022

updated Jul 11, 2022

125 Years!

A mission more relevant than ever

Mira Hall had a radical vision: Two decades before women would be granted the right to vote, she imagined a world in which girls received the high-quality education they deserved. So, in 1898, she did something bold: She founded Miss Hall’s School.

Fast-forward 125 years, and Miss Hall’s today still embraces Mira Hall’s bold vision, empowering girls to use their voices, be their authentic selves, and become bold and creative contributors to the common good.

Mira Hall, 1935

“Reaching our 125th year is a testament to the staying power of a mission that is more relevant today than ever,” notes Head of School Julia Heaton. “At our 124th Commencement in June, I reminded graduates that the world needs independent and compassionate leaders like them, and that Miss Hall’s has given them the tools to step into that role. Since its founding, the School has excelled at graduating young women who contribute boldly to the common good.”

Main Building, undated

Mira Hall began Miss Hall’s School at the corner of Reed and South Streets in downtown Pittsfield. The School moved to nearby Bartlett Avenue in 1900, and in 1909 to its current Holmes Road campus, where it has grown around an iconic Main Building surrounded by Olmsted-designed and inspired landscaping.

The School is a leader in girls’ leadership, known for its exceptional academic program, its signature service-learning and internship program, Horizons, and a personalized, whole-student approach to educating young women.

“Miss Hall began her venture with little capital beyond her youth, her determination to have the best school she could build, and the strong idealism which directed her.”

Head of School, 1938-1948, Mira Hall’s niece

“This milestone speaks volumes about the vision and gumption of our Founder, the talent and dedication of our faculty, the support of our alumnae, parents, and friends, and the persistence and resilience of our Trustees and school leadership,” Ms. Heaton adds. “Most importantly, it speaks to the relevance of the work we do here every day, and it reinforces to all of us just how much that work truly matters.”

Today, MHS is home to 200 students who come to the School from two dozen countries, carrying on Mira Hall’s belief that “a school which chose its pupils from the daughters of parents of various professions and from different parts of the nation and world would give them a broader concept of life.” More than 4,000 alumnae represent MHS worldwide and in all walks of life — Mira Hall’s mission personified.

Opening of the "new" school, 1924

There is a lot in the works for the 125th year: a new front entrance is being built on Holmes Road, the Main Building’s porch is getting a facelift, preparations are underway for the new James K. Ervin Tennis Complex, and we are getting ready to welcome another amazing group of students and kick off our 125th year.

We can’t wait!

MHS through the years

Photos by the renowned photographer Clemens Kalischer, who captured images of MHS students and campus life from 1958 until the mid-1970s.

 

A brief timeline of Miss Hall’s School

1898 — Mira Hall begins Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield
1909 — The School moves to Meadow Farm on Holmes Road
1923 — Fire destroys Miss Hall’s School
1924 — The “new” school is finished and incorporated as a nonprofit
1937 — Mira Hall dies while on a trip to Maine
1938 — Margaret Hall ’07, Miss Hall’s niece, is named 2nd Head of School
1959 — The Schoolhouse Wing (Thompson Humanities Wing) is completed
1975 — The Board of Trustees approves the enrollment of male day students and the change of the School’s name to The Hall School
1984 — The School discontinues coeducation and resumes use of the Miss Hall’s School name
1996 — The School’s signature experiential learning program, Horizons, debuts
2000 — The Anne Meyer Cross ’37 Athletic Center is completed
The Elizabeth Gatchell Klein Arts Center and Humes Euston Hall Library are completed
2014 — Julia Heaton named Miss Hall’s 11th Head of School
2016 — The multidisciplinary Linn Hall and a New Residence Hall open
2022-23 — Miss Hall's School celebrates 125 years!