Mission & Beliefs

Hargrave builds young men into leaders of character prepared for lifelong success.

Message from the President

Hargrave changed my life and it continues to change lives today. Since 1909, more than 20,000 boys have arrived on the front steps looking for a different approach to education and personal growth. They left as young men – leaders of character – equipped with a solid academic, physical, and spiritual foundation. Over the past century, much has changed in society and education. But Hargrave has remained steadfast in its emphasis on academic rigor, traditional values emphasizing character and spiritual growth, leadership development, and positive personal relationships. There has never been a time when the world needs Hargrave more than today!

The Hargrave experience begins with caring faculty and staff who get to know their students and build relationships that last for decades. The dedication of these men and women to “their” boys is evident daily in the mentoring, counseling, coaching and just being there when needed. Graduates write or return to Hargrave year after year to thank teachers, coaches, and staff who made such a profound difference in their lives.

The academic rigor of a college preparatory program combined with the added structure of Hargrave’s “How to Study” program and supervised study halls has been preparing graduates for college and life beyond for decades. We all face a lifetime of learning. What a difference it makes to instill habits of efficient and effective learning early in life. Hargrave’s many years of 100% college acceptance, millions of dollars in scholarship awards each year, and the continuing success of Hargrave graduates in college and beyond is a testament to their sound preparation.  

Faith is a hallmark of Hargrave. Spiritual growth has always been central to the Hargrave experience as boys begin to understand their place in God’s universe. Chapel services, devotion time, Christian-based organizations, and the personal witness of faculty and staff are all part of the faith journey. 

The Honor Code is just the beginning of character development at Hargrave. Character Across the Campus focuses on one of Hargrave’s core values each month in classrooms, on playing fields, in Chapel, and on the barracks, helping boys understand, for example, what living a life of integrity looks like and how it influences many of the decisions they will face. 

We all aspire to be leaders. Hargrave’s military program teaches boys how to follow first – important to effective leadership – and then helps them grow and develop as leaders in the cadet chain of command where they exercise real responsibility and authority in the day-to-day leadership of the corps of cadets.

Friendships made at Hargrave last a lifetime. There is a bonding that occurs – a brotherhood – built around shared experiences and common values. Decades after graduating, Hargrave classmates are still in touch, looking out for one another, and finding ways to help the school, other graduates, and current cadets.

Caring faculty and staff; academic rigor; faith, character, and leadership; and friendships are the essential ingredients in the life-changing Hargrave experience, helping boys grow into young men and realize their full potential. “I was a boy. Here I became a man.”

With warmest regards and best wishes,

Sloan Gibson ‘71
Interim President

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