About Us

Mission, Core Values & History

Hackley School is an independent, college-preparatory, nonsectarian, day and boarding school for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Founded in 1899, Hackley became co-educational in 1970. Our mission states: "Hackley challenges students to grow in character, scholarship, and accomplishment, to offer unreserved effort, and to learn from the varying perspectives and backgrounds in our community and the world."

Our Values

The Hackley community embraces four core values that weave throughout our culture and shape our journey, K-12 and beyond. First, we “Enter here to be and find a friend.” Once here, “United, we help one another.” We learn and share a commitment that “Character is higher than intellect.” And ultimately, the journey prepares us to “Go forth and spread beauty and light.” These ideals are embedded in our history, our collective identity and our architecture.

Our History

Hackley was founded in 1899 as a college preparatory school for boys through the generosity of Mrs. Frances Hackley, who, in partnership with leading Unitarians of the era, sought to create a non-sectarian school that embraced Unitarian values of intellectual questioning and inclusiveness. A philanthropist with a deep commitment to education, Mrs. Hackley was among the founders of Barnard College, and helped in the development of the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth, as well as a number of vocational programs and kindergartens.

From its founding, Hackley would welcome students of diverse religious, economic, ethnic, and national origin within an ethos shaped by the school's Latin motto, Iuncti Iuvamus, which we translate as, "United, We Help One Another."

The School quickly outgrew its original home in Mrs. Hackley’s Tarrytown mansion, and Mrs. Hackley funded the purchase and construction nearby of the campus we know today. The first new buildings were in use by 1902, with the phrase that has represented the Hackley spirit for over a century — “Enter Here To Be And Find A Friend” — engraved above the door.

Hackley has evolved since its founding into a co-educational K-12 day school with five-day Upper School boarding, increasing the number and variety of perspectives in its community while faithfully and vibrantly carrying our founder’s vision forward.

The Old Oak:

It is said that Hackley’s iconic Old Oak welcomed generations of students, families and employees to the Hilltop from its place at the entrance of the Quad for more than 100 years. On August 4, 2020, the Old Oak fell during Tropical Storm Isaias. Shortly thereafter, the salvaged pieces of our beloved oak were stored on campus pending the launch of a wood memorial project, which officially began in summer 2022. Read more about the memorial project here
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