A place not of mechanical instruction, but a school of character where the common requisites for all have been human feeling, a sense of humor and the spirit of intellectual and moral adventure.”
Clara Spence was a visionary educator, opening her school for girls in 1892 in a brownstone on West 48th Street and serving as its head for 30 years.
She believed that higher education for women was crucial, that they should not only be exposed to, but take part in, the outside world of politics, the arts, and the community.
She instilled this belief in girls from the Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Frick, and Morgan families, among others in The Social Register of the time. (Graduates of more recent times include Gwyneth Paltrow.)