Celebrating 70:  A Legacy of Excellence

Written by Vanessa Wilson
Sparks Advisor

September 2016 anniversary preparations are upon us, and this important milestone of our 70th year gives us a chance to celebrate our founding, reflect on our years of success, revel in the sense of community we’ve all built, and imagine our next 70 years.  You’re all a part of our past—and our future, too.

In 1946, Pine Forge Institute was established, later being led by the late and former Allegheny Conference President, John H. Wagner, Sr. as Pine Forge Academy. Wagner envisioned a boarding school in the North where African-American students would be able to receive a fair education without the continuance of prejudice and racial barriers. As a result of the prayers of the righteous availing, the boarding school for African-American students opened its doors on September 9, 1946 with an enrollment of 90.

The campus resides on the historical property once owned by Thomas Rutter, an abolitionist iron miller to whom the land was deeded by William Penn in the early 1700’s. Several of the original buildings still remain on the campus including Rutter’s Manor House which was used as a terminal for the Underground Railroad during the closing years of slavery.  In accordance with this legacy, students in our African-American History classes relived the lives of slaves using their 21st century talents in a dramatization called “The Underground Railroad:  A Path to Freedom”.

Since 1946, the Academy has remained dedicated to providing a place where students can experience success and go on to become productive citizens.  The school’s unique educational program cultivates pride in its heritage, holds students to a high standard of academic rigor and competency, and works to inspire a lifelong commitment of service to others.

During our 70th Anniversary, we will not only commemorate 70 years of existence, but we will also celebrate our rich ‘Legacy of Excellence’ and the prestige of those who have tread the hallowed grounds of Pine Forge Academy, where we believe ‘excellence is no accident’.

Through yearlong events, ceremonies, and festivities we will share our emblazoned successes culminating with a grandeur gala on September 9, 2016. Debra Crable Anderson (C/O ’76) serves as the 70th Anniversary Chairperson.

For additional information, please contact the Academy for a listing of Anniversary events and visit the 70th Anniversary section of the school website.


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