SEMINARY HILL ASSOCIATION, INC.
The name of the Corporation is SEMINARY HILL ASSOCIATION, INC.
To operate as a non-profit civic organization to promote, without affiliation with any political party, the general welfare of the residents of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, and particularly of those who live in the geographical area described in ARTICLE III, including in such promotion of the general welfare, participation in the formulation of public policy having an impact on development, transportation, and the environment in that area.
Section 1. Any person living within the boundaries of the Seminary Hill Association as defined below shall be considered a member and shall be represented by the Seminary Hill Association. .
Section 2. Residents wishing to be informed about matters of interest within Seminary Hill shall submit their name, address, and email address either online at the Seminary Hill Association website, www.seminaryhillassn.org , via mail, or in person at a meeting of the Association. This information shall be used only for the purpose of communicating official Seminary Hill Association business and will not be shared with other persons or businesses.
Section 3. Residents shall be encouraged to make an annual contribution to Seminary Hill Association to defray the costs of the organization. A suggested amount shall be recommended and voted upon by the Board each year. The Board may also approve plans to raise funds as needed for Association purposes.
Section 4. The initial members of the Corporation were the members in good standing on November 17th, 1988, of the Seminary Hill Association, an unincorporated civic association with the same geographic boundaries set forth in Section 1 of ARTICLE III above. The Treasurer of the Corporation certified such membership list upon the receipt of the same from the Treasurer of the Seminary Hill Association.
Section 1. The officers shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. These officers, and the immediate Past President, shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Association.
Section 2. The initial officers were selected by the Board of Directors who elected those persons so selected to the respective positions elected at a meeting of the members of the Seminary Hill Association, then an unincorporated predecessor association at its meeting on November 17th, 1988. Thereafter, the officers of the Corporation were elected by the members as specified in ARTICLE VI. The term of office for each officer is one year beginning upon his or her election at the November meeting.
Section 3. The duties of the President shall be to preside at meetings of the Corporation or the Board; to appoint all committee members unless otherwise directed by the Corporation, and to enforce these Bylaws. The President, or a board member designated by the President, shall continuously oversee and maintain the Seminary Hill Association website, issue notices of meetings; and communicate to the membership on a regular basis, or as issues of concern to Seminary Hill members arise. Such communications can be via email or by mail.
Section 4. The duties of the Vice-President shall be to preside at meetings of the Corporation or the Board on request of the President, or in the President’s absence. The Vice-President may have other duties as assigned by the President. If the office of the President becomes vacant, the Vice-President (if this office is filled) shall become the President for the balance of the term for which the President was elected. Otherwise, ARTICLE V, Section 3 applies.
Section 5. The duties of the Secretary shall be to conduct correspondence; in the absence of the President and Vice-President to call meetings to order and request the election of a temporary presiding officer; to have custody of Corporation records; to prepare minutes of the Corporation meetings and those of the Board, and to submit them to the President for review and final approval by the Board at each monthly meeting of the Association.
Section 6. The duties of the Treasurer shall be to receive applications for membership; to collect and record contributions from residents; to deposit such contributions together with other Corporation funds in a bank, in the name of the Corporation; to keep a record of all funds of the Corporation; to withdraw funds for Corporation purposes; to provide a monthly report to the Board detailing deposits, payments, and current bank balance; and to submit at the Annual Meeting each year a report of all receipts and disbursements during the preceding year. The Treasurer is authorized to disburse Corporation funds necessary for the business of the Association as approved by a majority of the Board. The Treasurer shall make no single disbursement exceeding $100.00 without authorization by the Board. If such disbursements are necessary when the board is not scheduled to meet in a timely manner, voting to approve such disbursements may occur via email or phone polling to the board members. Checks from Corporation funds in a bank for disbursement must be signed by the Treasurer or the President.
Section 7. The 9 Area Representatives, the At Large Representatives, and the Representatives of The Virginia Theological Seminary and Episcopal High School are voting members of the Board. Board members are expected to attend all monthly meetings of the Association. Their duties shall be to report to the Board each month on issues of concern within their respective areas, and Seminary Hill as a whole, and to represent the best interests of those residents. They will also assist the officers in disseminating information concerning Seminary Hill Association issues through flyers or such other appropriate means as directed by the Officers of the Board. If an Area Representative is unable to attend a scheduled meeting, he/she should endeavor to have a member from that Area represent him/her at the meeting as a non-voting attendee.
Section 1. There shall be a Board of Directors (“Board”) which shall be composed of the officers of the Corporation, the immediate past President of the Corporation, a representative of the Virginia Theological Seminary, nominated by that Institution, a representative of the Episcopal High School, nominated by that Institution, and nine Area Representatives, elected in November for a one-year term to represent each of the nine numbered areas, designated on the current approved Corporation map. In addition, up to four (4) At-Large members may be elected by the Board in its discretion from time to time as the needs of the Corporation shall require.
Section 2. Meetings of the Board of Directors will be held monthly except during the months of July and August. A quorum of the Board shall consist of a majority of the Board’s full membership. Adequate notice of every meeting shall be given to the Board by the President or the Secretary. If a quorum is not available for an emergency or otherwise unplanned meeting, a proposed motion (or any other similar action) will be sent via email by the Seminary Hill Association President to all Board members for a vote and the results of the vote will serve as the action of the Board. A majority of the quorum of the board is required for a measure to pass. The President shall certify to the Secretary that a majority of the Board voted in support of the proposed measure via email, and present such certification at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.
Section 3. The Board shall have the power to fill vacancies occurring between elections in the offices of Secretary, Treasurer, and Area Representatives. It shall have the power to act for the Corporation whenever, in the judgment of a majority of the quorum present, necessity therefore arises, and the action of the Board shall stand as the action of the Corporation unless the Corporation shall will otherwise. Should a vacancy occur on the Board of Directors, a replacement shall be nominated and approved to complete the remainder of the term of office based on a majority vote of the members of the Board in attendance at a scheduled meeting. Article IV, Section 4 applies to the office of President.
Section 4. If requested by a board member, the Board shall have the power to remove a board member by a vote of a two-thirds majority of the quorum of the board present at a regularly scheduled board meeting, or at a special meeting called for such purpose.
Section 5. The Board of the Corporation may create additional committees, standing or temporary, as the need arises. Such committees may include board members and non-board members.
Section 6. As defined in Article IV, Section 1, the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Immediate Past President shall constitute the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee recommends actions for approval of the Board of Directors. It may meet to discuss urgent matters and act on behalf of the Board of Directors in between meetings of the Board if necessary, to the extent allowed by Virginia law. Actions taken by the Executive Committee shall be approved by the Board of Directors at the next scheduled board meeting.
Section 1. An Annual Meeting for the election of Officers and Area Representatives shall be held in November, and those elected shall take office at that time. The President shall appoint an Election Committee of at least 5 Board members (two (2) of whom are recommended to be past Presidents) to develop a slate of candidates to be elected at the Annual Meeting. In addition to the slate developed by the Election Committee, any resident can become a candidate for any of the elected offices by submitting a petition to the Secretary at least 10 days in advance of the date of the Annual Meeting and signed by 10 residents along with a biography not to exceed 70 words.
Section 2. Ballots shall be taken consecutively for each office in the following order: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Area Representatives. If no candidate for a particular office receives a majority of the total votes cast on the first ballot, there shall be a runoff between the two candidates who received the highest number of votes on such ballot. The vote of a majority of the residents present at an election meeting is necessary to elect any candidate.
Section 1. Written notice of the Annual Meeting (other than a meeting to act on an amendment to the Articles of Incorporation, merger, proposed sale of the Corporation’s assets or dissolution) shall be given either by means of the SHA website, email, regular mail, local newspaper article, and/or flyers delivered to all residences within the boundaries of the Corporation at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting.
Section 2. Twenty-five (25) residents shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at the Annual Meeting. Except as otherwise provided in these ARTICLES, all action shall be taken on the basis of the votes of a majority of the residents present at a Corporation meeting. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted.
Section 3. The order of business at Corporation Annual meetings shall be as follows, unless the meeting shall otherwise dictate: (a) Reading of the minutes of the preceding meeting by the Secretary; (b) Financial report by the Treasurer; (c) Reading of communications by the President; (d) Unfinished business; (e) Reports of Officers; (f) Reports of Committees; (g) Election of Officers; (h) New Business and General Discussion; and (I) Adjournment.
Section 4. Except as otherwise provided in these ARTICLES, procedure at meetings shall follow Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
Section 1. Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by the Board or by petition signed by at least ten (10) residents. All proposed amendments shall be filed with the Secretary, who shall notify the Board of such filing. Upon receipt of such notice, the Board shall discuss and vote on an interim change to the Bylaws at either a regularly scheduled board meeting, or a special meeting, subject to final approval at the next Annual Meeting. The notice to the residents at the subsequent Annual Meeting shall set forth the text of the interim amendment(s) and the names of its sponsors.
Section 2. A proposed final amendment to the Bylaws shall become effective if supported by the vote of at least two-thirds of the residents present at the Annual Meeting at which it is presented.
Approved unanimously by the Seminary Hill Board on 9-12-19
To be finalized by a vote of residents at the Annual Meeting 11-14-19
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Administrator (back end) start page: http://www.seminaryhillassn.org/administrator
President's Message (Home page right side)
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Some Dates in the History of Seminary Hill
First humans were seasonal—hunting in the streams and valleys
1700s agricultural fields and country estates near mills on Cameron Run
1823 Virginia Theological Seminary established
1839 Episcopal High School founded
1860-5 Union military defenses during Civil War for Washington DC
1898 First School for African Americans established in The Fort [Ward]
1925 The Fort school became Seminary School located where T. C. Williams School is now
1950s Seminary Hill became a suburb of Washington, DC
1951 Land swap—Seminary Hill went from Fairfax County to the City of Alexandria
1956 Hammond High School built
Around 1960 St. Stephen’s School moved to the current location of SSSAS High School
1962 Alexandria Hospital moved from Old Town (1872) to current location
1964 Fort Ward Park established after The Fort community moved to SHA Area 1
1970s Seminary Hill Civic Association started—zoning issues, i.e. Alexandria Commons and Eisenhower Connector
1972 T. C. Williams built on site of African American school
1979 Hammond became a Junior High
1988 SHA incorporated
1990 Office of Historic Alexandria published a plan for Historic Preservation on Seminary Hill
1992 Seminary/Strawberry Hill Small Area Plan published by City
1993 Hammond Middle School expanded
1997 Beltway exit to Eisenhower Ave built, ends at Ben Brenman Park across from Jordan St.
2002 Bluestone Connector opposed by SHA
2004 T. C. Williams High School rebuilt
Some Notable Homes on Seminary Hill—Areas 4, 5, and 9
—family home 1830 –4007 Moss Place
--gate house/Arthur Herbert House 1815, since been rebuilt—at 3908 Seminary Road
--another 19th century farmhouse –4018 Seminary Road
Vaucluse—destroyed during Civil War, rebuilt 1901, hospital site, house torn down in 1972
Cameron—house torn down in Civil War—General Samuel Cooper’s property, Fort Williams
Smuckers house—1923—on Cameron property
Hoof cottage—1793—death house during Civil War
Worthington’s home used as hospital
Charles Goodman House—1800s farmhouse remodeled i1954 in Frank Lloyd Wright style
History on the Hill: The Seminary’s Aspinwall Hall
Virginia Theological Seminary hall was once used to house Episcopal students.
This article is the second in a five-part series of historic homes in the Seminary Hill area of Alexandria.
Virginia Theological Seminary’s Aspinwall Hall today houses administrative offices for the Episcopal institution, but perhaps hundreds of men called the brick building home from the 1850s to 1940s.
Topped by an imposing white tower, the three-story hall off Seminary Road was completed in 1858. The first floor housed classrooms, while the two upper floors were student dormitories, said Rev. Robert Prichard, the seminary’s professor of church history and author of the recent pictorial book on the seminary’s history, “Hail! Holy Hill!"
The occupants were all white male students, as the seminary didn’t admit its first black student until the 1950s or women until the 1960s.
The donors to build Aspinwall Hall were brothers William Henry and John Lloyd Aspinwall, who were railroad men, Prichard said. “Their biggest coup was the built a railroad across the isthmus of Panama before the Panama Canal,” he said. “And there’s a little town to this day in Panama called Colon, which is the Spanish spelling for Columbus, originally named Aspinwall, built by the brothers for the Caribbean side.”
The Aspinwalls were among the most influential donors to the Episcopal Church in the 1800s, not only funding Aspinwall Hall but also paying for buildings at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Chicago and Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Wisconsin.
During the Civil War, the campus was occupied by Union troops. Teaching stopped, and the campus was used as a hospital. To this day, visitors can see where a Wisconsin regiment volunteer scratched his name into the woodwork of the hall.
The inscription appear to read, “Taylor.” “It is kind of interesting to see they left their mark,” Prichard said.
There were 10 dorm rooms on each floor, and each room had its own fireplace. The privy was located to the back of the building. At some point in the 1890s, the seminary constructed a porch on the second story of the front of the building. It was taken off in a renovation in the 1960s.
“Allegedly, students have told me who were there then that people would go out their windows on the second floor and have water balloon fights with people on the other side of the dorms,” Prichard said.
Another interesting facet of the building is that the brickwork on what is now the front side of Aspinwall is of a lesser quality than the brickwork on the back end. “(The back end) was clearly designed to face downtown Alexandria, our presentation side,” Prichard said. “ … We used to claim that this dominated the Alexandria skyline and was the largest building around, but of course we were not in Alexandria until the 1950s, because Quaker Lane was the western boundary of Alexandria.”
The top of the tower also offers a view of Washington and its landmarks. “It’s a wonderful view on the top of the tower,” Prichard said. “Until the 1990s, on the Fourth of July, we opened the top of the tower and people could come up and look and watch the fireworks.
“And then a balcony fell down at the University of Virginia, and our business office and our attorney got very worried about potential liability, so we haven’t done that since then. It used to be a kind of nice, interesting moment to get the view.”
The building today includes historical photographs, including one of the class of 1856, and a reproduction of a portrait of William Henry Aspinwall, the original of which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.
The hall also has a dark chapter in its history. Mount Vernon Estate rented slaves to contractors who did work on large buildings, including the Smithsonian Castle. The seminary as an institution had no slaves, although two faculty members had slaves.
“A logical guess, but not proof, because we have no final paper trail, is that some of the servants, slaves from Mount Vernon worked in building Aspinwall Hall,” Prichard said. “We don’t know that, but the Capitol was built by slave labor, the Smithsonian by slave labor. The contractors used slave labor ... so they got all the big jobs. So that’s probably the case.”
The building’s interior has been renovated multiple times. The seminary built a new set of dormitories in the late 1940s, and eventually the upper stories of Aspinwall were abandoned and put to other uses.
Joining SHA will soon by a lot easier. In the coming weeks we will allow you to join online. Of course if you prefer to send in a check we will still accept your offline payment too.
SHA is a non-partisan, non-profit, civic organization that promotes the general welfare of the residents of the City of Alexandria, particularly those that live in the Seminary Hill neighborhood.
The SHA Board of Directors meets regularly on the second Thursday of each
month. Our meetings are open, and we invite you to join us.
7:30 p.m. – Thursday
at the parish house of the Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill,
3606 Seminary Road (corner of Seminary Road and Quaker Lane).
November 14 - Annual Meeting
For more information, please contact President Carter Flemming