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They did what?!? Alumni reflect on change

Caroline Hobbs '26

Last weekend, Mercersburg families and alumni arrived on campus to experience and celebrate the longstanding traditions of Step Songs and the bonfire during fall Family and Alumni Weekend. Even though these traditions continue today, many things have changed on the Mercersburg campus. Some alumni offered their perspectives on how Mercersburg has grown over the years. 

Mr. Phil Lloyd, class of ‘65, parent of ‘90 and ‘94, grandparent of ‘26 and Board of Regents member emeritus, 1994-2022,  says he loved the changes in academic methodology, particularly that the school has switched from reliance on lecture-based classes to classes set around the Harkness table or dedicated to student projects. Lloyd noted that although there have been changes in the classroom, Mercersburg has always emphasized ideals of respect, community, and inclusion and that will never change. He says, “You walk out of this school a better human being.” 

Katie Stover ‘07 appreciates the community’s neverending kindness and hospitality. Nevertheless, she was shocked when she saw studnets playing and hanging out on the quad. When she was at Mercersburg, this was never allowed. She added that she had heard alumni talking about how the size of the dining tables had changed (and some that she spoke with were very thrown off by this!).

Ted Smith ‘83 loves seeing the arts and sports facilities when he returns to Mercersburg, because they didn’t have such high-end facilities when he studied at Mercersburg, though swimmers like Smoth always had amenities that other sports did not. Smith observed how much more organized the 'Burg has gotten throughout the years. 

For Joie Xiao ‘22, the big change was that Mercersburg is now using social media platforms to showcase activities/traditions happening on campus. As a four-year dancer, she applauded the addition of the arts showcases during Family and Alumni Weekened and the development of more hands-on programs. Joshua Bowling ‘08, like Xiao, loved seeing the additions to the arts programs, especially the advanced studies art class, and the encouragement of all of the ways students can express themselves through art.

Julia Maurer, class of ‘90 and Associate Head of School for School Life, loves how Mercersburg has always had such a strong community atmosphere and how strong the relationship ties have remained over the many years.

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