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Student Life


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Life at Curtis revolves around practice, study rehearsal, and performance; but among its longstanding traditions are beloved rituals such as Wednesday-afternoon tea, the annual holiday party, or ping pong in the student lounge. When all students lived off-campus, these gatherings strengthened Curtis’s unique sense of community, as did new student orientation and an active student council. With the opening of Lenfest Hall in 2011, half the student body moved to the residence hall. One result was a whole new set of leisure traditions living alongside the old.

1938: From 1927 through the 1930s, Curtis served lunches on the fourth floor of 1720 Locust Street  (now the Rock Resource Center).

PHOTO: Curtis Archives/Fritz Henle
1999: Bracha Malkin and Anthony McGill at Wednesday afternoon tea, a tradition since Curtis’s founding.

PHOTO: Curtis Archives/David DeBalko
2013: Student orientation leaders line up during the annual President’s Picnic in Rittenhouse Square.

PHOTO: Pete Checchia

The Curtis Archives is seeking materials from alumni and faculty that document the personal reflections and experiences of students, particularly from the 1950s through the 1970s. If you have materials to share, please contact Barbara Benedett at or (215) 717-3139.

”LIFE at Curtis Before the War” – A national magazine visited Curtis to photograph daily life in 1938.

“Room to Grow” – living and learning in Lenfest Hall