HATHAWAY BROWN, the oldest surviving private girls' school in the Cleveland area, was founded in 1876 as an adjunct to the BROOKS MILITARY SCHOOL, the foremost private school for boys at the time. Its original name was the Brooks School for Ladies. The school was proprietary in nature and had several owners, including Miss Anne Hathaway Brown. Although Brown sold the school after only four years (in 1890), during her tenure the school developed a reputation for providing quality education for young women. The school continued to prosper under the direction of other headmistresses, including Miss Mary Elizabeth Raymond (1912-38) and Miss Ann Cutter Coburn (1938-68).

The school's early mission was two-fold: to prepare upper-class women for a career in society and to equip them with well-trained minds. Grades kindergarten through twelve were offered. The most prominent of its early buildings was erected in 1905 on Logan (East 97th) Street through a substantial gift by FLORA STONE MATHER. In 1927, the school moved to its present location at 19600 North Park Boulevard in SHAKER HTS.. The move was made at the behest of the VAN SWERINGEN brothers, who hoped that Hathaway Brown and other private schools would help attract upper class residents to their new community.

At present (2007), the school offers a coeducational Early Childhood Program for three, four, and five-year-olds. Hathaway Brown's educational program emphasizes college preparation, offering Advanced Placement and college level coursework in math, science, English, history, and art, still closely following the school's original motto, non scholae sed vitae dicimus ("we learn not for school, but for life"). One hundred percent of its graduates attend four-year colleges or universities after graduation. Since 1985, the school has received the prestigious "Excellence in English" Award several times, and the Exemplary Foreign Language Award. The school established a fully equipped woodworking laboratory in 1993, a new middle school complex in 2001, and the Carol and John Butler Aquatic Center in 2005. The current Head of School is H. William Christ.

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Needham, Ruth Crofut, and Ruth Strong Hudson. The First Hundred Years: Hathaway Brown School (1977).

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