Founders' Giving Society

Founder's Giving Society at Bryn Athyn College

To honor John Pitcairn’s legacy, we have created the Founders' Giving Society in recognition of all donors who make a gift to Bryn Athyn College of $500 or more. 

January 14, 2024, marks 150 years since John Pitcairn wrote a check demonstrating his confidence in the Academy of the New Church and its mission. Bryn Athyn College upholds its mission (and that of the Academy) by providing a rigorous academic experience grounded in the teachings of the New Church. You're invited to join this initiative and become a Founder yourself, helping champion high-quality education and spiritual learning for future generations.

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The Inspiration

John PitcairnBryn Athyn College's parent organization, the Academy of the New Church, began its formal existence on the 19th of June, 1876. Yet January 14th, 1874, has been regarded as the unofficial beginning of the organization and celebrated as Founders' Day for many years. On that early January day, John Pitcairn wrote a check for five hundred dollars in order to defray the costs of a proposed publication to begin “a reformatory movement in the New Church” (New Church Life 1911, 189). Two days earlier, a group of men had met at the Atlantic Garden restaurant on Diamond Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and formulated the idea Photo of John Pitcairn's original $500 checkfor this movement. Those present were Frank Ballou, Walter C. Childs, William Henry Benade, and John Pitcairn (as noted on


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