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Office of the President – Pete Gurt ’85

President of Milton Hershey School – Pete Gurt ’85

Since 2014, Pete Gurt has served as the 10th president of Milton Hershey School. President Gurt is an accomplished academic leader, filling multiple administrative roles during his time at the school. Under his leadership, MHS has grown to record enrollment of more than 2,000 students, launched a program to support young graduates, and established Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning.

Hear from President GurtRead the Latest News and Blogs from President Gurt

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Strategic Vision from the Office of the President

President Gurt has designed several ambitious strategic plans during his tenure at MHS. His most recent strategic vision, Our Future in Focus: The MILT Plan, includes the following pillars:

  • Modeling Character and Well-Being
  • Innovating Career-Focused Education
  • Leveraging Impact
  • Teamwork to Strengthen Community Alignment and Engagement

MHS students and graduates often refer to themselves as Milts—a term that has spanned generations. It is only fitting that our strategic vision, focused on student and graduate success, dons the same name.

Under President Gurt’s leadership, MHS also celebrated many outcomes from our 2015-2020 strategic plan, 2020 Vision.

MHS and CHS President, Pete Gurt '85 speaks at the inaugural ECE Leaders Summit focused on early childhood education.

Expanding Our Impact

In 2020, President Gurt led the creation of Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning—made up of at least six Early Childhood Education Centers in Pennsylvania. CHS provides an educational, social, and cognitive day program to children from six weeks to age 5, with all costs covered.

Learn about CHS

Education and Achievement Beyond MHS

President Gurt is dedicated to helping children have a brighter future. He serves on the Board of the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools, which governs all independent schools in the state.

President Gurt also has received community recognition and accolades in several areas:

  • Administrator of the Year (2009): Recognized by the Coalition of Residential Excellence for his commitment to excellence in residential education through his role as an administrator.
  • Alumni Achievement Award (2014): Recognized for his dedication to educating lower-income children by The Pennsylvania State University (Harrisburg) School of Behavioral Sciences and Education
  • Hershey Rotary Club: Recognized as a dedicated community servant at the Hershey Rotary Club

After graduating from MHS, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Temple University and a master’s degree in education from The Pennsylvania State University in Harrisburg. In 2023, President Gurt also received an honorary doctorate degree in education from Elizabethtown College for his contributions in this field.

Learn More about Life After MHS
Milton Hershey School President Pete Gurt '85 speaks at The Hershey Story Museum Business Partners in Education Breakfast.

Leadership through the Years

President Gurt always goes the extra mile for his alma mater. Before becoming president, he served in several leadership roles across campus including Vice President of Administration, Vice President of Education and Student Life, and most recently, MHS Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. President Gurt also was assistant coach of the MHS varsity girls’ basketball team, and with his wife Jane, has provided support as a relief houseparent for 10 years.

He also served on the Board of the MHS Alumni Association and was president of the William E. Dearden Alumni Campus Advisory Board.

Inspiration from President Gurt

President Gurt’s passion for Milton Hershey School and its students’ success is evident. He plays an active role in all areas of the school and his words inspire students, faculty, and staff.

Our Future in Focus

Even when the future seems unclear, the MHS community keeps our mission in focus. All it takes is being committed to a continuous pursuit of excellence and holding one another accountable to experience greatness.

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Greater Together

There is power in numbers. At MHS, we believe that our community is what strengthens us to achieve new milestones and overcome incredible obstacles. For more than a century, our community has thrived thanks to our founders.

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Day 1 … Day WON

Small habits create big change. Every MHS student is provided the tools and resources to successfully achieve their journey from their very first day at the school to Commencement and beyond.

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MHS is the key to unlocking potential. From learning and discovering new talents to shattering real and perceived barriers, our community is committed to achieving our Breakthrough and becoming the very best version of ourselves.

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Milton Hershey School President Pete Gurt '85 talks to a student.

Contact the Office of the President

Milton Hershey School
1201 Homestead Road
Hershey, Pa. 17033

Administrative office hours:
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Telephone: 717-520-2020

Media inquiries:
Contact the Office of Communications and Marketing
Telephone: 717-520-2200
Email: [email protected]

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.