Skip To Main Content

Mission and Values

Audacious since 1881, Dana Hall School has always been dedicated to providing the vigorous education that every girl deserves—one that’s academically ambitious, rich with opportunity, and fiercely empowering.

Our Mission

Dana Hall School is committed to fostering excellence in academics, the arts, and athletics within a vibrant, caring and inclusive community. With emphasis on integrity, leadership, diversity, and service as well as on respect for self and others, Dana Hall provides its students with a unique opportunity to prepare themselves for the challenges and choices they will face as women and citizens of the world.

Inclusion and Diversity Statement

Dana Hall School believes that diversity and multiculturalism are key elements in fostering excellence in every aspect of our community.
We are committed to building an inclusive community that respects and affirms each of its members, honoring their diversity of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, and socioeconomic status. We are committed to building an educational program that recognizes and values the many peoples and perspectives of our community and the world. We realize that conflicts may arise in the creation of such a community, but we see these possible conflicts as opportunities for growth, for open and honest communication, and for learning.
Through our commitment to diversity, the Dana Hall community prepares students for the challenges and choices they will face as women and citizens of the world.

History of Excellence


Dana Hall School was born out of the vision and generosity of Henry F. Durant, who founded Wellesley College and soon discovered that many of his students needed further preparation before entering college. To address this need, Charles P. Dana, a Wellesley businessman, gave Durant a building to use for housing students in a new preparatory school; this served as the first site for Dana Hall School.

Dana Hall's first Heads of School, the Eastman Sisters, sit on porch together.

Julia and Sarah Eastman, hired from Wellesley College by Henry Durant to run this new school, began classes at Dana Hall School on September 8, 1881. 

Four students from 1883 pose for a photograph.
That first year, 18 students paid board and tuition of $325.
Helen Temple Cooke stands in her garden behind Grove House.
In 1899, the school was bought by Helen Temple Cooke, whose energy and brilliant mind were dominant forces in the school until her death in 1955.
Two Dana Junior students, in school uniform study a model of the solar system.
During Miss Cooke’s tenure, Tenacre, Dana Junior, Dana Hall, and Pine Manor Junior College were added to form the Dana Hall Schools.
Three students play records in a dorm room in the 1950s.
Pine Manor became independent of Dana Hall in 1962, as did Tenacre in 1971. When Pine Manor relocated to Chestnut Hill, Dana Hall moved down Grove Street to the adjoining Pine Manor campus, adding new dormitories, a new dining center and a new gymnasium. The lower grades (seventh and eighth) formed the current Dana Hall Middle School, and the grade nine became a part of the Upper School.
Head of School Katherine Bradley sits with the 14 members of the 5th grade that was added in 2016.
The sixth grade was added to the Middle School in 1984, and the fifth grade was added in 2016-17, the same year Katherine Bradley began her tenure as Dana Hall’s 11th Head of School.

Dana Hall School Archives

The Dana Hall School Archives, located in the Nina Heald Webber ’49 Archives Room in the Helen Temple Cooke Library, houses a wide range of materials, dating from just prior to the founding of the school in 1881 to the present.