Friends Seminary

Friends Seminary

Friends Seminary is a private, Quaker school located in downtown Manhattan. It enrolls roughly 650 kindergarten through 12th grade students. The school is divided into three sections: Kindergarten through 4th grade (Lower School), 5th grade through 8th grade (Middle School) and 9th grade through 12 grade (Upper School).


Friends Seminary is a k through 12th grade school established by Quakers (Members of the Religious Society of Friends). It was founded in 1786 as Friends Institute. In 1826, the school was moved to a larger campus. The school again moved in 1860 to its current location and changed the name to Friends Seminary. In 1925 Friends Seminary was the first private co-educational school to hire a full time psychologist. Friends has long had a very strong reputation for being a diverse and philosophically open school, and traditionally has had Quakers as heads of school. In recent years the school has increased its endowment to the level of uptown independent schools such as Dalton and Brearley, and engaged in a beautiful, but controversial, renovation of its buildings. The school is one of New York CIty's most sought-after private schools in a city without enough private schools for the well-heeled population that can afford them. Diversity is woven throughout the school's philosophy and curriculum, though actual diversity in student population is scant. Friends is a member of ISDN, New York's Independent School Diversity Network.


The school is located in a number of buildings. The largest building is "Hunter Hall"', where classes are held for the entire Middle School, most of the Lower School and some of the Upper School. The 1963 building contains a basement level gym and cafeteria, library and media center, a language lab, science labs, art studios, a photography dark room, computer labs, a music room and classrooms for Lower, Middle and Upper School students. The building houses the offices of the Middle School, as well as a meeting house and a courtyard on the ground floor level.

The school purchased and renovated a former Masonic Temple in 2001 and 2002. The new building, called "The Annex" incorporates Green technology to create a building with less of an ecological footprint than many other buildings in the city. The building includes more science labs, as well as three multi-use classrooms, and the offices for the Upper School.

Notable alumni (alphabetical)

*David Allee (photographer)
*Noah Buschel (writer/director)
*Caleb Carr (writer)
*Mel Cummin (cartoonist)
*Wylie Dufresne (chef)
*Bart Freundlich (director)
*Zachary Glass (musician)
*Georgia Hubley
*Josh Isay (political consultant)
*Michael Kimmelman (art critic)
*Danny Landau (notable Nazi sympathizer)
*Matthew Lenski (director)
*Nina Payne (poet/educator)
*M. Scott Peck (writer)
*Amanda Peet (actress)
*John Reed (novelist)
*William Robinson
*Theodore Roosevelt (president)
*Roger Rosenblatt (writer)
*Liev Schreiber (actor)
*Kyra Sedgwick (actress)
*Amanda Stern (writer)
*Julia Stiles (actress)
*Olivia Thirlby (actress)
*Anne Waldman (poet)
*Daniel Ward (writer)
*Nat Wolff (actor/ musician)
*Alex Wolff(actor/musician)
*Nicholas Rouner(poet and artist)
*Vera Wang (desinger)

External links

* [ The Friends Seminary Website]

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