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Since its founding, Columbus School for Girls has developed and cherished traditions that unite generations of women.

The school works as a community to preserve the best of its rich history, embracing those practices that continue to connect students and alumnae and reshaping those for which the significance has changed along the way. These "ties that bind" endure longer in the memories of alumnae than any given curriculum or period in history.

students at scholarship walk with arms over each others schoulders

Beneath the Columbus School for Girls’ crest, on a banner, are the Latin words, Forte et Gratum. This school motto, which means strength and grace, ably reflects the way in which two progressive women, Mary Bole Scott and Florence Kelley, addressed the founding of a girls’ school in 1898. These women knew that the future education of young women would depend on strength of character being central to the academic experience. Today, that motto guides the school’s leaders in matters of philosophy, principle, and curriculum.

CSG pep rally

The Big/Little Sister program was initiated in 1904 to encourage association between older and younger students. Each class in Forms VII-XII adopts the class six years its junior as its Little Sister class. Times of picnicking and service activities are set aside to nourish these special friendships.

Sister classes share the same class flag, song, and colors. Upon the graduation of the Big Sister class, the Little Sisters inherit these sacred symbols and share them with their own Little Sisters. The passing of the flags and songs takes place in a special ceremony during the Middle School Celebration at the end of the school year. Class presidents continue the tradition of carrying their class flags during assemblies and special programs while the Student Council President carries the American flag.

US student reading in the library

community service
MS community service project
Scholarship Walk

Each fall since 1972, the school has held a Scholarship Walk to support The CSG Scholars Fund, which provides financial assistance for approximately 20% of the student body. Students in the Middle School and Upper School collect pledges for the distance they walk (usually a 20-kilometer loop at a local Metro Park), and even the PYC and Lower School girls contribute donations for walking a 12-kilometer route in the Bexley neighborhood near the school.

special programs

Seasons at CSG are marked by special programs that highlight the balance between tradition and progress. Individually, these programs mark the high points of any given year; and, collectively, they contribute to the meaning of our academic seasons and serve to remind us of rich and cherished practices.

Other Traditions