Chatham Hall prepares girls for college
and for productive lives. Our rigorous educational program encourages
intellectual growth, creativity, and personal responsibility. We foster
the intellect and character of each student and, through our Honor Code,
live in a community of trust. Grounded in its Episcopal heritage, the
School welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.
Chatham Hall private school for girls was opened in 1894 by the
Rev. C. Orlando Pruden as a regional school for educating young women of
Southern Virginia and neighboring North Carolina. From the outset, the
school—originally named Chatham Episcopal Institute—provided a rigorous
academic program designed to equip girls for the challenges of the
future. It was initially housed in the “Chatham Hall” estate of the late
The end of World War I brought changes in American culture that
ultimately resulted in the 1927 transformation of the Chatham Episcopal
Institute into Chatham Hall. During this time, the school’s student body
became more national than regional in composition, and the school’s
reputation for excellence was solidified.
Chatham Hall has a long tradition of encouraging girls to
extraordinary accomplishment. Georgia O’Keeffe, for example, graduated
in 1905 and not only went on to art schools dominated at the time by
men, but also succeeded in becoming one of the foremost American artists
of the 20th century.
The school has a long-standing affiliation with the Episcopal Church.
At Chatham Hall, an exemplary private school for girls, the core
of everything we do, both in the classroom and beyond, is the Honor
Code and Purple and Golden Rule. Together, these principles help
maintain our unique, trust-based community, one in which every person is
challenged to live each day with integrity.
At Chatham Hall, trust is given before it’s earned; once given,
each person has the responsibility to keep it. Students, teachers,
administrators, and staff all live by a system of shared values, rather
than one of restrictive rules. The special privilege of the seniors is
to lead the school by upholding the Honor Code and Purple and Golden
Rule and by educating the student body on these principles.
The Honor Code is our overall governing rule. It states:
I will not lie.
I will not cheat.
I will not steal.
I will report all infractions of Honor.
All members of the Chatham Hall community – students, faculty,
administrators and staff – live under and are committed to the
cultivation of honor and integrity at this private school for girls.
The Purple and Golden Rule is our governing
philosophy (a philosophy that takes the place of a demerit system).
Instead of living under a set of punishments, we choose to live with a
set of principles: respect, responsibility, citizenship and trust. Also
inherent in the Purple and Golden Rule is accountability. In other
words, it’s each person’s responsibility to make sure these principles
are upheld and to confront anyone who betrays the school’s inherent
trust. Clearly, following “the Rule” has its benefits – when the
community successfully lives within these ideals, the school thrives.
The basic tenets of the Purple and Golden Rule are as follows:
1217 (All three parts)
Accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS)
Additional Memberships and Affiliations
Chatham Hall complies
with applicable federal and local laws prohibiting discrimination on the
basis of race, creed, color, age, sex, disability, religion, national
origin, or any other legally protected category.