Bryn Athyn College celebrates the 150th Founders' Day, marking the day benefactor John Pitcairn wrote a $500 check that would eventually create Bryn Athyn College and the quality education of generations of students. To honor this legacy, Bryn Athyn College is kicking off a new Founders' Giving Society in recognition of all donors who make a gift to Bryn Athyn College of $500 or more.
Bryn 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). In today's economy, that check would be worth closer to over $13,000 Two days earlier, a group of men had met at the Atlantic Garden restaurant on Diamond Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and formulated the idea for this movement. Those present were Frank Ballou, Walter C. Childs, William Henry Benade, and John Pitcairn (as noted on newchurchistory.org).