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Meet Our Founders

General R.K. & Mrs. Constance Prosser Mellon

In 1938, not long after General Richard King Mellon and Constance Prosser married, they chose Ligonier to be their year-round home. While General Mellon worked to convene political and industrial leaders to initiate the Pittsburgh Renaissance, Mrs. Mellon devoted her time to community building closer to home. Ligonier was well-known as a tourist destination accessible by locomotive train, but Mrs. Mellon knew that if the region were to become a place for families to settle, certain institutions were imperative: schools, churches, and leisure attractions among them.

Over the course of the next decade, General and Mrs. Mellon undertook a vast range of philanthropic endeavors in the Laurel Highlands area. They supported the restoration of Fort Ligonier and its museum and administration building, as well as the Ligonier town hall, library, and gardens. They also built the church St. Michael’s of the Valley. Mrs. Mellon, who preferred an independent elementary school option for her four young children and other families of the Laurel Highlands, concentrated her efforts on establishing Valley School of Ligonier.
When Mrs. Mellon chartered and incorporated Valley School in the fall of 1946, her vision for the sort of education students would receive was academically traditional, but ahead of its time in its holistic child-centeredness. Valley School would be “a happy, nurturing school, a place where children would build their academic skills, and—just as importantly—learn how to become responsible, humane adults.” Mrs. Mellon formulated a mission statement that emphasized intellectual, emotional, and ethical development. For more than thirty years, she nurtured Valley School as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Until her death in 1980, she remained humbly committed to the school’s growth and constant improvement.

Today, we look to the passion, dedication, hard work, and philanthropic generosity of our founders as an inspiration and model. Our annual Founders’ Day Ceremony is a most treasured opportunity to celebrate General and Mrs. Mellon’s legacy and gratefully acknowledge their role in Valley School’s distinguished history. 

Valley School of Ligonier

Address: 153 Lupine Lane, Rector PA 15677
Mail: PO Box 616 Ligonier, PA 15658
Phone: (724) 238-6652  Fax: (724) 238-6838
In an environment that is safe, challenging, nurturing, and disciplined, Valley School provides a balanced and strong program of study for a diverse group of children. Our goal is to stimulate in each young person lifelong habits of moral behavior, seeking wisdom, and doing good works for others.
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