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What Does It Mean to be a Spartan?

In October 1935, the term “Spartans” first appeared in the student-written School Industrialist after being selected as the school mascot by the student body. Fortitude, courage, undaunted spirit and self-discipline were just a few of the adjectives used to describe the school’s Spartan football team.

Since then, Milton Hershey School has continued to educate students who display fierce Spartan pride on and off the football field. MHS students know what it’s like to experience challenges and rise above them, just like a Spartan warrior.

They are spirited and courageous. They are loyal and determined. They are resilient and proud. No matter where they go, MHS Spartans display these characteristics and stand up when others back down.

Join the MHS family by inspiring those around you with four important characteristics that are the essence of Spartan pride. 

Spartan Statue Installation

1. Determination

Spartans are committed and determined to do their very best. They are encouraged to participate in activities that are meaningful to them and their future goals, such as international service trips, Student Government Association, the visual and performing arts, athletics, and more.

They understand what it means to be successful and that it takes hard work and dedication to get there. Spartans aren’t afraid to challenge themselves with AP classes or leadership opportunities. No matter what challenges they face, they are determined to work through difficulties, find ways to improve, and never give up. Even after graduation, Spartans have an unquenchable desire to learn and grow.

students at commencement wearing their graduation rings

2. Courage

How do Spartans confront tasks that may be scary? They find inner courage and learn to be adaptable when navigating new tasks or situations. Whether it’s breaking a fear of heights during an international trip to Ghana or accepting a band or chorus solo, Spartans know what it’s like to step out of their comfort zones and overcome fear.

Spartans come from diverse backgrounds, but they always stand up for each other and make their peers feel wanted. Spartan pride means having the courage to do what’s right even when others might not want to do it.

three students at the spelling bee

3. Loyalty

In the MHS family of Spartans, loyalty is everything. Spartans display their loyalty by building lifelong relationships with staff members who support them. They care about their peers’ well-being, and they protect them like family. Spartans always find opportunities to act with respect and kindness, both in and out of the classroom, and display positive spirit by encouraging and complimenting those around them.

As leaders, Spartans dedicate themselves to living out the MHS values. They lead by example and mentor younger students. After graduation, Spartans keep in touch with other alumni and share an unbreakable bond only “Milts” can understand. They have a deep appreciation for loyalty and family that inspires future relationships in their lives.

Spartan Statue

4. Resilience

Spartans may come from challenging environments and situations, but they are eager to overcome negativity by staying strong and resilient. They commit to success, no matter how difficult the path may be.

Whether they want to adjust their behavior, attitude, academics, or relationships, Spartans take the time to self-reflect and refuse to be defeated. They always choose progress over failure. Spartans show up every day with a positive spirit despite the circumstances.

Do you have what it takes to be a Spartan?

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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.