Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Orphanages and Orphans

Girard College for Orphans

A lithograph print of the campus of Girard College for Orphans.

Girard College, opened in 1848, was created with funds left by Stephen Girard. The school today serves students in first through twelfth grades from single-parent and low-income homes. (Library of Congress)

Library of Congress

Girard College, established under the bequest of financier Stephen Girard, opened in 1848 to provide educational opportunities to “poor, white, male, orphans,” as stipulated by Girard’s will. In 1968, the school’s policies changed to also admit African American boys, and later to admit girls. In 2017, the school operated as a five-day college preparatory boarding school with students in first through twelfth grades. Admitted students must come from a single-parent and low-income home to receive a yearly full scholarship.

2 Comments Comments

  1. I was adopted from Girard for boys and I would like information about my birth parents. Can you be of any help to me? I believe the adoption took place in 1940 or there about. Look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

    William E. Bachman Posted July 1, 2018 at 10:47 pm
  2. My great grandfather and 2 great uncles lived at Girard approximatey 1887 and on for a few years. My g grandfather: George M. Plank. G uncles: Ashael Plank,
    Warren Plank.
    Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

    Terry Whitman Posted May 28, 2020 at 8:30 am

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