Lucretia Mott (1793-1880) was a Quaker who moved from Nantucket to Philadelphia when she married James Mott. She actively participated in many of the reform movements of the day, including abolition, temperance and pacifism. Most importantly she inaugurated the woman suffrage movement. In 1876, Mott and the National Woman Suffrage Association renewed their call for women’s equality in their Declaration and Protest of the Women of the United States, which called for the impeachment of the United States leaders on the grounds that they taxed women without representation and denied women trial by a jury of peers. “I have no idea of submitting tamely to injustice inflicted either on me or on the slave. I will oppose it with all the moral powers with which I am endowed. I am no advocate of passivity.”
Edward Hicks was born in Bucks County in 1780. He was most famous for his series of primitive paintings, “The Peaceable Kingdom.”
Bayard Rustin, 1912-1987, was a nonviolent activist for social change. Although known primarily as a leader in the civil rights’ movement, he was also involved in movements against war and militarism and active in those promoting democracy and human rights.
Hollingshead – Math Class Room
Irving and Jennifer Hollingshead are members of Unami and Newtown Meetings. Jenny and Irv are life-long peace and social activists who have been friends and supporters of United Friends for many years. Irv was a college math professor and in his retirement, taught a geometry class at UFS for one year. Irv also served as clerk of our Board of Trustees. Jenny worked as a guidance counselor in public schools and worked to bring conflict resolution and mediation programs into school cultures. Jenny has been actively involved in human rights organizations and often served as advisor for high school Amnesty International and Model UN groups. Both Jenny and Irv have been tireless in their involvement in the Friends Committee on National Legislation.
Penn (1st grades)
William Penn (1644-1718) was an Admiral’s son who became a “convinced” Friend, a promoter of religious freedom and the proprietor of the Holy Experiment in Pennsylvania. This experiment proved to be a sanctuary which protected freedom of conscience. Penn traveled unarmed among the Indians and negotiated peacefully. He insisted that women deserved equal rights with men. He gave Pennsylvania a written constitution which limited the power of government, provided a humane penal code, and guaranteed many fundamental liberties. He was the author of many pamphlets, most notably No Cross, No Crown and The Fruits of Solitude.
Fox (2nd and 3rd grades)
George Fox (1624-1691) was a charismatic preacher, strong in prayer and healing, who gathered the first “Seekers”. He survived persecution and, with his wife, Margaret Fell, laid the administrative foundation of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). The Friends’ form of worship, silent meeting, was an outgrowth of Fox’s beliefs that everyone has equal access to the “inner light.” The spirit comes from within and from human preparedness therefore where one worshipped was not important, nor was any hierarchy in a church organization. He believed in treating everyone with equal respect, was against war and was an advocate for both boys and girls to have the opportunity for an education.
Anthony (4th and 5th grades)
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) was brought up in a Quaker family with long activist traditions. Early in her life she developed a strong sense of justice. After teaching for fifteen years, she became active in the temperance movement, but was not allowed to speak at temperance rallies because she was a woman. This experience, and her acquaintance with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, led her to join the women’s rights movement in 1852. Soon after, she dedicated her life to woman suffrage. “I know nothing but woman and her disfranchised.”
Helman-Osborn (Middle School)
Wayne Helman (1926-2010) was a member of Gwynedd Friends Meeting and longtime friend and supporter of United Friends School. After retiring from a notable career teaching and coaching at Pennridge High School, he volunteered at UFS for nearly 20 years. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we counted on Wayne to visit each of our classes and provide help to teachers and students. Wayne was well-loved by the children and adults in our community.
Rebecca McNees Osborn (1921-2014) was a member of Unami Meeting in Pennsburg. She remembered sitting in Media Meetinghouse as a child daydreaming about what she might do with herself during Meeting for Worship. While sitting on the horsehair padded cushions, she recalled thinking how much fun it would be to swing from the chandeliers during meeting. Though that aspiration never came true, Becky, as a life-long Quaker grew to understand the power of silence and the possibility for renewal, clarity and community that comes with corporate silent worship. A graduate of Smith College and Ohio State University, Becky was a Family Counselor and instructor in Family Therapy where she used a Quaker approach in helping families understand their relationships. Becky is a published writer and poet. She became interested in United Friends School when it was in its infancy and attended our first Thanksgiving feast. She served on the Board of Trustees and volunteered in classrooms for many years and has been a strong supporter and advocate of the school. UFS created the Suncatcher Fund in her memory, to cover costs of items and events not covered by tuition, and therefore also not funded by scholarship awards. Additional items are varied and include but are not limited to: enrichment classes, calculators, musical instruments and rain boots.