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Milton Hershey School Celebrates Its First Day of Classes with Pep Rallies Across Campus

For over 111 years, Milton Hershey School has celebrated its first day of school with intent, vision, and lots of confetti to commemorate the generous gift of Milton and Catherine Hershey.

This year, to build community spirit while remaining safe, MHS designed a week-long Opening of School Celebration to unite students, staff, parents/sponsors, and alumni around the annual theme—Greater Together.

Milton Hershey School Middle Division students with Opening of School t-shirts

The celebration began on Saturday, Aug. 14, with an unveiling video of the annual theme, a surprise swag box, kick-off activities, and a special dinner in student homes and Transitional Living (TL) buildings.

“I believe we are all part of a forever family,” said President Pete Gurt ’85. “In our family, we have the most important resource—which is each other—to help us achieve our goals. We are ‘Greater Together’ when we support and encourage one another while embracing the opportunities that our school provides.”

Together, on Monday, Aug. 16, MHS staff across campus lined up outside of each scholastic building to encourage students to start the school year off Spartan Strong. Balloon arches, DJ stations, and Hershey characters filled the outdoor spaces at Memorial Hall, Catherine Hall, and on the Senior Division Campus to spread excitement for the new school year.

Milton Hershey School Elementary Division students walking to school for Opening of School

At a time when the need for creating community has never been greater, MHS is connecting its entire family—which reaches far beyond campus—with its annual theme that will be utilized in classrooms, student activities, and more throughout the year.

Milton Hershey School staff at Opening of School Pep Rally

“Here at MHS, we have our unique strengths and contributions, but we are a very powerful force when we live and act as one community,” Gurt said. “Nothing can stop us when we stand as sisters and brothers.”

Follow along with the MHS 2021 Opening of School Celebration on social media using #MHSSpartanStrong.


Milton Hershey School is carefully following federal and state guidelines, CDC considerations, and MHS-established health and safety protocols to keep our campus a safe, nurturing, and healthy place. 

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.