SSL Certificate

The William Penn Society

The William Penn Society, named in honor of Penn Charter's founder and honoring key leaders and milestones in the school's history, recognizes leadership gifts to the Annual Fund. Members of the William Penn Society will include parents, OPCs, parents of OPCs, grandparents and friends – at the following levels.

Penn Charter invites donors at the $5,000 level and above to the annual Leadership Donor Dinner. All members of the William Penn Society are welcomed at the Color Day Luncheon. 

Make your leadership gift online at

Richard Mott Jones Benefactors: $50,000+

Richard Mott Jones, head of school from 1874 to 1917, helped reorganize the school from a network of small schools into a college preparatory school for boys and initiated the move from Center City to the campus on School House Lane.

John Flagg Gummere Patrons: $25,000-$49,000

John Flagg Gummere, known respectfully and affectionately as "the chief," was a scholar, renowned educator and head of school from 1941 to 1968. 

Hannah Callowhill Penn Council: $15,000-$24,999

Hannah Callowhill Penn, William Penn's second wife, is credited with keeping the colony of Pennsylvania running during her husband's ill health. 

Charles Thomson Circle: $10,000-$14,999

Charles Thomson, head of school and Latin teacher from 1755 to 1760, was secretary of the Continental Congress during the American Revolution. 

Anthony Benezet Guild: $5,000-$9,999

Anthony Benezet, one of America's first abolitionists, started the first school for African American students and left that school to the Overseers in his will, with a small stipend to keep it going. 

Welcome Associates: $3,000-$4,999

William Penn's two-month journey to America began in Deal, England, on the 150-foot ship Welcome. The Welcome landed first in what is now New Castle, Del., finally stopping in Chester, Pa., on Oct. 28 or 29, 1682. 

1689 Founders: $1,689-$2,999

Members of the William Penn Society include parents, OPCs, parents of OPCs, grandparents and friends who make a gift of $1,689 or greater.

Clock Tower Society: for Young OPCs $16.89+ and $168.90+

A new leadership giving society for young OPCs within 10 years of graduation. OPCs from 0-5 years from graduation lead with a gift of $16.89 or more, annually. OPCs from 6-10 years from graduation lead with a gift of $168.90 or more, annually. Membership benefits include free admittance to regional receptions, networking events with OPC professionals and special invitations to the Color Day luncheon and more.

James Fox Memorial Scholarship:
A Transformational Story

“Back then, neighborhood kids didn’t go to college,” Brian McCloskey said. “The mentality was you’ll go to high school, you’ll get a job, you’ll start a family and have a great life. That’s what people did.”

McCloskey grew up in Kensington, a working class neighborhood in Philadelphia. Imagine row homes, teamsters, hard-working people sitting on the stoops listening to Phillies games. “People knew who you were and who your parents were.”

It was impossible to know at the time, but at just eight years-old McCloskey took the first in a series of steps that would forever shape his path. He started playing football at the nearby Fishtown PAL (Police Athletic League), and his coach, Tommy Thompson, decided that McCloskey was going to play quarterback.

“For whatever reason, he thought I could be that guy,” McCloskey recalled. “He gave me the playbook. I didn’t even know what some of the plays were. I went home and cried to my dad that I couldn’t do it.” But McCloskey did play, and continued playing quarterback exclusively for the rest of his football career.

During his freshman year at north Catholic, McCloskey was presented with another opportunity, a spot on the Little Quakers, a team established in 1953 by Bob Levy oPC ’48 to provide eighth and ninth graders opportunities to play for great coaches and experience life beyond the boundaries of their neighborhoods. For McCloskey and dozens of young men like him, it was also a steppingstone to admission at Penn Charter and the prestigious James Fox Memorial Scholarship. “That’s what changed my life.” McCloskey said.

“If I don’t go to PC, I don’t go to college,” McCloskey said. He knew that a college education would make a difference, but he also knew that getting there wouldn’t be easy. “I thought if I was going to do it and go to college, Penn Charter would give me the tools to be able to succeed.”

The Fox scholarship, established in 1969 by Robert and Penny Fox in memory of their son James, is a need-based award that has made a PC education possible for almost 40 football players from the Little Quakers team. For many, it transformed their lives.

“In the neighborhood, you go to north and then you go to work. But now I’m amongst 90 kids at Penn Charter
who are all going to college. I can’t be the only person who doesn’t go. I had to study. I had to work hard. I got a lot of help from faculty who spent extra time with me” he said. After PC, McCloskey enrolled at Ursinus College, where
he played football and received a degree in economics and business administration. And he returned to Penn Charter.

McCloskey, who is currently dean of students at Penn Charter, is quick to point out that he is only one of many people whose life was transformed by a Penn Charter education made possible through the Fox Scholarship. There is ongoing relationship among the scholars and with the Foxes. “They invite us all back for dinner every year.” McCloskey said, “and we all say thank you.”

Penn Charter

A Friends School for Girls and Boys, Pre-K to 12

3000 West School House Lane Philadelphia, PA 19144 215.844.3460
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