St. Basil Academy (Garrison, New York)
St. Basil Academy, located in Garrison, New York, is an orphanage and children’s home that is affiliated with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Initially founded under the leadership of Archbishop Athenagoras as a home for girls, with accreditation as an educational institution, the program was expanded by Abp. Michael to include boys. More recently, the campus has seen a further expansion to include a National Ministries Department of Youth, The Ionian Village, Outreach and Evangelism, and the Archdiocese Center for Family Care.
The academy was established in March 1944 by Abp. Athenagoras through the efforts of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philotochos Society that bought the 400 acre Jacob Ruppert estate which overlooks the Hudson River Valley and United States Military Academy, thus enabling His Eminence's dream of establishing an orphanage and children’s home in the United States. During the early years as a home for girls, the Academy was accredited by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. Later, a women’s junior college program was established, as the St. Basil Academy Teachers’ College. In 1973, this three year course of study was transferred to the Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Under Abp. Athenagoras’ successor, Abp. Michael, the facilities were expanded to allow accommodation of boys at the Academy. Abp. Michael especially loved the Academy, and under his leadership in the 1950s the Academy flourished. After his repose, his remains were buried on the grounds of the Academy.
As an Orthodox Christian sponsored organization, the religious life of the Academy is centered around the chapel. The current chapel, that was built in 1985, is used, in addition to Divine Liturgies on Sundays, for daily vesper services that are followed by teaching sermons.
The resident students live in seven dormitories: four for girls and three for the boys. The Academy maintains clinical services for the children, staffed by degree holding clinicians, and registered nurses. The Academy is also a training facility for graduate students from New York University and Fordham University. The children attend schools through high school in Newburgh, Highland Falls, and Cold Springs, New York. For the young graduates who have completed high school, the Academy has a ‘Bridge Program’ to help the post graduate students in their transition to college or the work place.