Bethesda Recognized for 275th Anniversary

Bethesda Academy Presented Resolutions at Georgia Capitol Honoring
275th Anniversary as Award-Winning Educational Institution for Boys

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Bethesda Academy will celebrate its 275th anniversary this year, a landmark milestone for Savannah’s iconic boarding and day school for boys in grades 6 through 12. To commemorate this meritorious moment in Georgia’s history, Bethesda Academy was honored with two resolutions at the Savannah-Chatham Day celebration last week in Atlanta, Ga.

Bethesda Academy President David Tribble and Bethesda students Phillip Dove, a senior, and Javetti Higgenbottom and Gerald Thomas, both juniors, were recognized on the floor of the Senate by Georgia State Sen. Ben Watson, as well as from the gallery of the House of Representatives by Rep. Mickey Stephens of Georgia House District 165.

“How extraordinary for Bethesda to receive such a distinguished honor from the state and its highly-esteemed representatives,” said Tribble. “It was an emotional moment and we couldn’t be more proud to share our school’s remarkable evolution over the last 275 years.”

To continue the year-long anniversary celebration, Bethesda Academy will host a special evening at its annual Scholarship Gala on May 15, which raises critical scholarship dollars for its students.

Founded in 1740 by Rev. George Whitefield as a home for boys, Bethesda has the distinction of being the oldest child caring institute in America. Located on a lush 650-acre campus overlooking Moon River, just 11 miles from historic downtown Savannah, Bethesda is AdvancEd accredited with 95 percent of its students graduating on time and 87 percent going on to higher education.

This values-laden educational institution has raised the bar when it comes to educating Georgia’s young men, strongly emphasizing George Whitefield’s founding mission to teach “a love for God, a love of learning and a strong work ethic.” Early supporters of the institution include James Habersham, a close friend of George Whitefield, and Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s founding fathers.

“There is a palpable sense of history once you pass beneath the iconic and historic arch at Bethesda’s entrance,” Tribble said. “The campus itself is dotted with original structures and pathways that have withstood the test of time. But more importantly than historic structures, it’s George Whitefield’s legacy that lives on through the remarkable young men who graduate from Bethesda and go into the world as responsible men with unwavering values of spirituality, integrity and accountability.”

Bethesda’s evolution into the thriving and award-winning middle and high school that is today has been marked by many challenges over years, many of which include providing ongoing funding to operate. The school does not receive any state funding to cover the $3.4 million per year it costs to operate and depends largely on private donations, external scholarship programs like the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, annual fundraising events, and a collection of on-campus business enterprises that cumulatively help meet the school’s annual budget.

“Older than America by more than three decades, Bethesda Academy stands as Savannah’s most storied educational institution.” Savannah Magazine

The college-preparatory curriculum at Bethesda is specifically designed around the way boys learn most effectively, including a holistic learning environment using a blend of technology, traditional classroom instruction and dynamic work-study program which instills principles of sound business development and management, financial literacy and authentic workplace experience.

“With a chess team currently ranked 9th in nation, alumni playing professional sports and going on to successful careers in business, medicine, video production and acclaimed business leaders, there is no doubt that Bethesda is preparing our boys for success in life,” said John C. Helmken II, board vice-chairman and South State Bank regional executive and executive vice president.

To learn more about Bethesda Academy, please visit or call 912.351.2061.