School traditions, many of which date back to the beginning years of the School, involve students in the life of Stuart Hall School community. Included in these traditions are academic and athletic competitions, seasonal celebrations, and class activities.
Honor Code: The Honor Code at Stuart Hall is based on the principle of mutual trust and honesty. Its function is to provide an environment of cooperative spirit, respect, and truthfulness. The Stuart Hall Honor Code defines the School as a community of individuals united in a willingness to live together in a trusting relationship. All students sign the Honor Code Pledge when submitting academic work. At the beginning of each school year, a special ceremony is held in which students sign the Honor Code Book, demonstrating an understanding of the Honor Code at Stuart Hall and a willingness to abide by its principles.
Red/White Competition: Since the 19th century, the School has been divided into two teams, whose friendly rivalry boosts school spirit and provides special occasions for relaxation and fun. Each student and professional staff member is given the designation of Red or White. Throughout the year, various competitions between the two teams are held. At the end of the year, after the culminating competitions during Red/White Field Day, a trophy is awarded to the team that has compiled the highest yearlong score. The captains of the Red and White teams are seniors given the leadership responsibility of galvanizing the teams to a worthy effort in the competitions.
Ring Banquet: Ring Banquet is held each year in the fall. On this occasion seniors are given their rings, and ask friends to turn the ring once. The total number of turns must be equivalent to the last two digits in the senior's graduation year. The last turn is reserved for a special person, who turns the ring towards the senior's heart.
Ring Turn: Once a senior has received the class ring, the traditional practice begins of asking others to turn the ring once toward his or her heart. The total number of turns is equivalent to the last two digits in the senior's graduation year.
Senior Steps: The front steps of Old Main are reserved for the use of the Senior Class. Seniors and faculty/staff may invite underclassmen to accompany them on the Senior Steps.
Senior Seats: The seats along the inner aisles of the auditorium are reserved for seniors at all events. Seniors and faculty/staff members process first out of the auditorium.
ELA is one of the oldest secondary school honorary leadership societies in the nation. It was organized during the 1882-83 school year. The founding members or the ELA organized themselves for the purpose of establishing a library at the school, and they raised the first money to buy books for the library. Induction into ELA is one of the highest honors a Stuart Hall student can receive. Mrs. Davis hold the fudge pot used by Stuart Hall students who founded ELA, raising funds by making the treat to sell.
Stuart Hall's Founders' Day celebrates the date on which the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia formally chartered the Virginia Female Institute-January 13, 1844. In 1907, the School was renamed Stuart Hall, in honor of Flora Cooke Stuart (Mrs. General J.E.B. Stuart), who had served as principal from 1880-1899. It is one of the oldest Episcopal schools in the state.
The Fox Founders' Scholar Award, one of the highest honors that may be bestowed upon a Stuart Hall student, is presented on Founders' Day. This award, named in memory of the late Rev. J. Kevin Fox, who served as Head of School from 1990-2004 and created the award, is given to honor those students who best exemplify the mission of Stuart Hall and exhibit the qualities of leadership and engagement.
Thanksgiving Food Drive: Each Thanksgiving the School community collects canned goods which are donated to the needy in the Staunton area.
Christmas Season: In anticipation of the Christmas holiday, Stuart Hall undertakes several festivities, a Christmas Spirit Day, the Staunton Christmas Parade and a service project for local needy children.
Junior/Senior Day: Each spring, juniors honor seniors with a special day. The juniors present a program highlighting seniors individually.
Spring Ball: In the tradition of prom, Spring Ball is held May.and is open to all students in grades eight through 12.
Loving Cup and Graduation, Ushers and Sub-ushers: Each senior selects one usher and one sub-usher, who are current Stuart Hall School students or alumnae/i in good standing, to participate in these ceremonies. Sub-ushers toast the seniors in the Loving Cup ceremony the night before graduation. Ushers form an arch with garlanded shepherd's crooks under which the seniors process during the Graduation service.
Each class traditionally takes on a project to raise funds throughout
the year to support their project.
Freshman: Pumpkin Carving Contest
Sophomores: Ring Banquet
Juniors: Junior-Senior Day
Seniors: Gift to the School