From wordly to intelligent, discerning to compassionate, there are many traits that every Ashley Hall student and alumna can proudly claim. But there are two in particular that just may evoke more pride than all the rest: Purple or White.
For over a century, Ashley Hall students have been split into two teams to inspire Panther pride, and of course, some friendly competition. Now, for first time in history, educators have officially joined in the Purple and White team tradition.
“We felt that getting teachers and staff involved would help raise school spirit by given everyone ownership as a Purple or White,” says Department Chair for Physical Education Jodie Runner who led the initiative. At the start of the school year, teachers drew a purple or white piece of paper at random to determine their fate. Then they kept their new team color a secret until last month’s Upper School pep rally on October 13 when Head of School Dr. Anne T. Weston ’73 announced that every Ashley Hall educator is now officially a Purple or White.
“As a senior this year, it means a lot to me that the teachers are now a part of our community through the Purple and White tradition,” says Jania Seabrook ’23. “It allows us as students to make a greater bond with our teachers knowing that they are truly a part of our team, no matter if it’s purple or white.”
Seabrook, who has been a proud member of Team White since second grade, kicked off the School’s new era of competition during the pep rally by participating in the first-ever arm wrestling contest against Purple Upper School faculty member Grant Vatter. “Arm wrestling Mr. Vatter was actually extremely hard,” Seabrook says. “He is very strong, but I’m glad to say I did take home the gold medal.”
As Purples and Whites, Ashley Hall teachers and staff will participate in different challenges throughout the school year, as well as many more skill competitions during future pep rallies. Let the games begin!
History of the Purple and White Tradition at Ashley Hall
The Purple and White team tradition dates all the way back to 1917. It began when Ashley Hall founder Mary Vardrine McBee divided the School in two to encourage good sportsmanship, teamwork, loyalty, and friendly competition. Today, students contribute to their team by earning points through academic and extracurricular activities and competitions. The team with the most points at the end of the year is awarded the coveted Team Cup.
DID YOU KNOW | Former First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush, Class of 1943, was a proud Purple! Another alumna to follow in her footsteps? Head of School Dr. Anne T. Weston was captain of the Purple team and was co-First Honor Graduate of the Class of 1973!
This spring in Charleston’s Post and Courier newspaper, alumna Betsy Cahill, Class of 1979, reflected on the exceptional leadership of Head of School Jill Muti, and we couldn’t agree more with her beautifully written words. You’ll be missed Jill, but your legacy will live on at Ashley Hall forever.
Click here to read this article.
Ashley Hall students swapped their purple and white uniforms today for blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, to raise money for UNICEF as they work to scale up life-saving programs for children and families affected by the war.
Led by Upper School human rights students, the philanthropic initiative was born out of discussions in the classroom around current events in eastern Europe. “It’s gotten so big, we couldn’t not talk about it,” says Dulcie Fava ’22. “We focus on world conflicts in human rights class, and we completely pivoted our learning plan to talk about what is going on right now because it’s so important. Now basically we are just trying to raise awareness, starting with our school.”
The girls invited every student and faculty member to wear yellow and blue on Friday, March 4, and sign their name in chalk under a unified message on the wall in the center of campus: We stand with Ukraine. Lower School students added chalky handprints and asked seniors questions about the colors they were using to fill in a drawing of the Ukrainian flag. “I kind of explained it as we are a team, and we are rooting for the blue and yellow team,” explained Fava. “Because when someone smaller than you needs help, you should stand up for them.”
What’s happening in Ukraine is coming up in the human rights classroom because one of the main lessons students learn is about sovereignty. “Sovereignty is considered the main foundation of international relations,” says Upper School faculty member Andrea Muti. “And the main rule is no sovereign state can attack another sovereign state.” The impact of Russia violating this rule is what is being discussed in class. “What we are seeing is anything is legal, that order doesn’t exist, if we teach our students that taking another country by force is possible.”
The war was something students were having a hard time understanding before discussions started with Muti. “This is history in the making,” says Amelia Agosti ’22. “People are going to read about this in their text books in years. And social media spreads information a lot, but I didn’t really know about what was happening until this class. The flag we drew shows that we stand with them, but also that we know what’s going on and we acknowledge it.”
Muti agrees that students are not only witnessing history, but living during a crucial turning point in history. “There is a before and after in many world events,” he says. “You think of World War I, World War II, and what happened last week with the invasion of the Ukraine is the violation of the main principle of international relations and the UN Charter. And there is no going back.”
Panther Athletes Celebrate National Signing Day! Panther spirit was loud and proud during today’s National Signing Day Ceremony. Three members of the Class of 2022 signed their letters of intent with excitement in front of family and friends. PQV to Meggie Navarro ’22 who will play tennis for the University of Virginia, Raegan Propes ’22 will play golf at the College of Charleston, and Vivian Miller ’22 who will play tennis for Brown University. Congratulations girls! We are SO proud of everything you have accomplished!
Winning Streak Continues With Fourth Straight Championship Title!
Ashley Hall is pleased to announce that its Varsity Tennis Team has once again won the 2021 SCISA Class 3A State Championship. Under the guidance of new head coach, Charlotte Hartsock, the Panther program continues its tradition of excellence by securing its fourth championship title in a row.
After a 5-4 victory over Trinity Collegiate on Friday, Ashley Hall beat Porter-Gaud 5-2 on Saturday to win its fourth straight championship.
“This has been a great group of girls,” said Panthers head coach Charlotte Hartsock. “They’ve worked really hard and they were the underdogs this weekend. We pulled it out beautifully.”
On the team’s recent win and ongoing success, Head of School Jill Muti added “Congratulations to Coach Hartsock and all members of our Varsity team. I am so proud of you and your accomplishments.”
Ashley Hall finished the year with a 13-5 record. The Panthers had played Porter-Gaud three times during the regular season, winning once. However, they had their full complement of players during the final match and were able to win despite the grueling semifinal match.
Senior team members included Dorothy Fort, Jane Goldstein, Vivian Miller, Natalie Richards, and Penny Wallace.
An exciting time was had by Upper School students last week at the first Pep Rally of the year! Celebrating fall sports teams, this outdoor celebration also encouraged some friendly competition between our Purple and White teams.
The Ashley Hall experience is full of rich traditions, but none as colorful and exciting as the school’s Purple and White Teams. Started by school founder Miss McBee before a competitive athletics program was in place, the Purple and White teams offered the student body a fun way to participate in a robust intramural sports program, show school spirit, and encourage achievement both in and out the classroom.
Today, students receive their team color beginning in the 5th grade. If a student’s mother, grandmother, or sister attended Ashley Hall, she is automatically on that relative’s team. New Ashley Hall girls receive their team color by lot. The goal of each team is to encourage good sportsmanship, teamwork, loyalty and friendly competition. A student does not contribute to her team solely through athletics; points are accumulated by participation in academic and extracurricular activities as well. The Team Cup is awarded at the end of the year to the team with the most points.
Want to hear the Purple and White Team fight songs? Click on the buttons below to have a listen.
Purple Team Fight Song
White Team Fight Song