Milton Hershey School Reopens Founders Hall to the Public
On Saturday, March 4, Milton Hershey School reopened Founders Hall to the public at a special Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony. The historic building, which has been under construction and renovation for five years, serves as a physical tribute to MHS founders Milton and Catherine Hershey.
Junior Sarah Bradley welcomed everyone to the Founders Hall Rotunda and shared her excitement in being a part of this moment in history. MHS students, staff, parents/sponsors, Hershey entity partners, and community members also heard from leaders who worked on the renovation project, including MHS President Pete Gurt ’85 and MHS Vice President of Administration Elliott Robinson.
“The vision of Milton and Catherine Hershey was to create a home and school that would exist in perpetuity. Never fully understanding how big their school would grow and how big of an impact it would have,” shared Gurt.“Thousands of lives have been changed because of their gift. It is not just the lives of our students that have been changed, but their families lives, their children’s lives, and the generational impact of MHS will go on forever. The beauty of building a school to exist in perpetuity is that we are just getting started.”
Since 2017, the building has been closed to the public for renovations but became in use to the MHS community earlier this school year. In Sept. 2022, students and staff gathered in the Auditorium for the first time to rededicate the building. Among the new features and upgrades are an interactive Visitors Center, newly designed meeting areas and office spaces, and a redesigned dining hall.
“In sharing his thoughts on enduring buildings, Poet Avijeet Das (Aveit Doss) is quoted as saying: ‘A building has a soul; the architect who designed it gave a part of his soul. And the workers who gave their sweat and blood to build it gave a part of their soul, too,’ Robinson shared. “Founders Hall is the soul of Milton Hershey School.”
To officially reopen the building, Sarah cut the brown- and gold-colored ribbon to commemorate the occasion. The MHS community is excited to share the reverence, history, and modern renovations of Founders Hall with visitors from far and wide.
Following the ceremony, guests were invited to attend MHS Visual and Performing Arts student performance of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” This was the first musical performed in the completely renovated Auditorium which now includes state-of-the-art lighting and technology, a completely new look, and more.
The Founders Hall Visitors Center will be open to the public weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage the community to visit and remember the impact and legacy of Milton and Catherine Hershey.