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Milton Hershey School Founders’ Vision for Businesses and Community

A vibrant community has always been important to Milton Hershey’s vision for his school, his businesses, and the Hershey community. From his early work building a complete and thriving town through today with the Hershey entity partners: The Hershey Company, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, The Hershey Trust, and Milton Hershey School, the Hershey community remains as one.

Milton Hershey spoke about the Hershey community at a business dinner in 1913, sharing “There is no secret to the success of Hershey. We do things there in a business-like and commonplace way. Everybody is busy daily and we try, first of all, to do business in an honest way.”

The Hershey Community in early 1920s

The main street of Hershey, Pennsylvania in the early 1920s.

Visitors to Hershey, Pennsylvania learn about the chocolate company and Milton Hershey’s story, but many have never heard of Milton Hershey School. Mr. Hershey opened his first chocolate factory on Chocolate Avenue in 1905 and the school enrolled its first students five years later.

Milton Hershey’s objective in developing the school’s programming was for the students to learn by doing. Through the years, students have shadowed and worked with professionals in the field through partnerships with the Hershey partners.

MHS alumnus Arthur Whiteman ’27 worked at The Hershey Trust starting at the age of 15 and went on to serve as president of The Hershey Trust for many years. Between his junior and senior year, alumnus Ken Hatt ’39 worked as a mail clerk in the Hershey Estates office and later became president of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.

Before renovations began, community members would enjoy noontime holiday concerts in Founders Hall and both The Hershey Company and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts brought special guests to Founders Hall and MHS campus to learn about the school.

Through numerous collaborative programs and internship opportunities, today’s students build their futures with help from all of the Hershey partners.

Hershey Partnerships Graphic Panels

In the new Founders Hall Visitors Center, MHS highlights its Hershey entity partnerships through Career and Technical Education program, apprenticeships, and internships. The freestanding graphic panels showcase Project Fellowship, a program through which Hershey employees and their families can foster connections with MHS students throughout the year.

Founders Hall Visitors Center Descriptive Panels

“The place where a man starts counts more than where he ends up…I am trying to build here a place where people can be happy and contented while they work, and live in pleasant surroundings…I realized that the only thing I was really interested in was doing a good job and keeping a lot of people happy and employed,” Milton Hershey said to Success Magazine in October of 1927.

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.