Dana Hall School is an all girls school located in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The school was founded in 1881 by Henry F. Durant and Charles P. Dana. The school was originally meant to feed into Wellesley College located only a few blocks away. It is now made up of both a middle school and a high school housed in separate buildings on campus.
Following the establishment of Wellesley College, founder Henry F. Durant saw the need for college preparation among incoming students. Wellesley businessman Charles P. Dana donated a building to house a new preparatory school. Under the direction of Julia and Sarah Eastman, classes began at the newly formed Dana Hall School on September 8, 1881.
In 2006 Dana Hall celebrated its 125th year, the year was marked by many special activities and retuning alumnae.
Dana Hall requires high school students to take four years of English classes, at least three years of math, and combination of five classes in social studies and sciences which must include two lab sciences, U.S. history and a non-western area study. The school also requires a language through the third year level and one performing arts and one visual arts class.
The Arts, Sports and Traditions
The Arts at Dana Hall are an essential educational experience for all students. A genuine appreciation of the Arts is provided by extensive offerings in Visual and Performing Arts, along with the instruction available at the Dana Hall School of Music. Skills in visual and performing arts, as in all other subjects, are learned through instruction, practice and experience. Visual Arts courses are taught at both the beginning and advanced levels, offering strong sequences for portfolio preparation and college admission. The Dana Art Gallery, adjacent to the art studio, offers a program of exhibitions by local and visiting artists throughout the school year. Performing Arts courses offer dance, acting, singing and instrumental performance on many skill levels and in many styles.
Dana Hall fields competitive teams in basketball, cross-country, fencing, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, riding, soccer, softball, squash, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.
In addition, they have a school riding center and an interscholastic team that made it to the national competition last year. Ponies include Rags, Bosco, Gigi, and Banana, and riders vary all skills and levels.
Dana Hall is also known for its traditions, some of which are secret. Traditions include Step-Sing, Senior-Sophomore, Revels, Cabaret, and The Midwinter Tradition. Traditions are a large part of life at Dana Hall and are some of the things many alumna remember most fondly about their years at Dana.
- Charlotte Russell Partridge (ca. 1898), painter, founder of Layton School of Art and Director of Laytton Art Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Helen Hartness Flanders (1909), folklorist
- Frances Simpson Stevens (1911). Italian Futurist paintner
- Jeannette M. Genius McKean (1927), painter, founder of Morse Museum of American Art
- Margaret Wise Brown (1928), children's author
- Louise McCagg (1955), sculptor
- Rosario Ferré (1956), author and poet
- Cynthia Voigt (1959), author
- Sharon Olds (1960), poet
- Susan Lirakis Nicollay (1970) photographer
- Durinda Wood (1970), costume design
- Molly Upton (1971), quilted art tapestries
- Sally Weber (1971), light installations
- Hillary Bailey Smith, actress
- Meg Brown Payson (1972), painter
- Anne Leone (1977), painter
- Elise Brewster (1980), designer
- Tria Giovan (1978), photographer
- Elizabeth Farnsworth (1980), biologist, singer, illustrator
- Nina Garcia (1983), fashion director at ELLE magazine, judge on Project Runway, author