Non scholae sed vitae discimus – We learn not for school but for life
Hathaway Brown is a dynamic and compassionate community dedicated to excellence in the education of girls. For us, educational excellence includes, but reaches well beyond, superb preparation for college. The true mission of the school, as reflected in our motto, “Non Scholae Sed Vitae Discimus,” is preparation for life. We strive to foster in the minds of our students an abiding passion for learning and in their hearts a constant devotion to strong character and public service. 

At this moment in history, there is a great need for women of vision and courage who are empowered for leadership in a multicultural and globalized society. We seek to answer that need by inspiring our students to achieve their utmost potential and to rise boldly to the challenges of our times. 

While transforming the lives of girls in our care is our primary calling, Hathaway Brown embraces broader aspirations as well: to help shape a future of unbounded possibility for women; to stand among the country’s leading schools in educational innovation; and to be such a force for the common good beyond our campus that we are respected as a civic treasure.


It is our collective responsibility to ensure the virtues of an HB education are passed on to future generations of girls, along with the values that define Hathaway Brown School:

  • Unwavering faith in the unbounded capabilities of girls and women;
  • Conviction that character matters most of all, that the potential for leadership dwells in everyone, and that there are myriad pathways to success;
  • Fascination with excellence and, beyond excellence, with imagination;
  • Insistence on educating and valuing the whole child—mind, body, and spirit—each girl, each day;
  • Belief that we are responsible for the welfare of the community beyond our campus, and that we must share our knowledge 
and gifts and touch the lives of others who need support, especially girls, in Greater Cleveland and around the world; and
  • Emphasis on endless learning and the power of ideas to change the world.



Five determined girls founded Hathaway Brown when they marched up the steps of the all-boys Brooks Military Academy to petition the headmaster to enroll them as well.

What began as “afternoon classes for young ladies” grew into one of the nation’s premier independent schools dedicated to educating and empowering women. While the Brooks Military Academy closed its doors in 1891, HB still proudly stands, welcoming girls of strong character and academic promise from all over Northeast Ohio. 



The school was named for beloved headmistress Anne Hathaway Brown, who adopted the motto: Non Scholae Sed Vitae Discimus—We Learn Not for School, But for Life.

She also chose the school colors of brown and gold to signify that HB is an institution rooted in the earth, but reaching for the sun. 


HB moved to a picturesque 16-acre plot of land in Shaker Heights, the city it continues to call home.

Read more about HB's history in Tradition and Transformation – a History of Educating Girls at Hathaway Brown School.