The Culver Story

An aerial view of the Culver Academies campus

Leading the world in whole-person education

At Culver Academies, our purpose is steadfast: to provide our students with the best whole-person education in the world.

Who are we?

Culver’s core values are forged in bronze in the middle of campus. 
Duty, Honor, Truth, and Service.
Culver Academies Virtues and Values
These values, along with the Cardinal Virtues, are quite literally the foundation of our school and are intentionally lived and taught via our student life structure, in the classroom, and on our athletic fields.  Students learn of their duty to themselves, their units and dorms, to their school. This may sound like a lot for a young person to handle, but at Culver, we believe they are up to that challenge. 

Culver educates its students for leadership and responsible citizenship in society by developing and nurturing the whole individual – mind, spirit, and body – through integrated programs that emphasize the cultivation of character.

The Culver Mission

Why are we here?

The Culver Mission statement is phrased in relatively modern language, but the principles and traditions from which it springs go back to the founding of the school in 1894.
It’s this focus on principles, rather than simply a place, that guides us as we meet students’ needs, whether it’s during a traditional school year, over the summer, or within the parallel and coeducational, yet unique, systems of the boys and girls schools. Students do not merely attend Culver; they become part of the Culver Story – a story that is rooted in tradition and innovation. 

Leadership & Character 

Telling the truth, doing what is right, and considering the needs of others. These are the building blocks of strong character. Building blocks that great leaders in the making come to possess and use as the foundation to hone their skills and strengths.

At Culver, we live and lead by example, giving our students and summer campers the tools, the understanding and the moment-by-moment application of what they’ve learned to excel but, more importantly, how to view adversity not as a problem, but as an opportunity to lead others by doing what is right.

In the end, Culver graduates thrive in their future endeavors in college, in the workplace and in their personal lives because these values of courage, honor and service to others are at the core of their experience here.

A Culver Academies student works on an academic assignment

Academic Excellence

Culver believes that we should think for ourselves. To that end, Culver does not merely hand students the answers, but rather gives them a deep understanding of every topic and its impact on the world.

In a sense, the rigorous exploration demanded by this pursuit of academic truth that feeds into the holistic approach of a character-building Culver education, giving young people the critical thinking skills they need to foster the ability to distinguish the wise from the unwise and the courage and strength to act on those perceptions.

Culver Academies students participate in a holistic wellness exercise

Holistic Wellness

Culver’s holistic approach does not stop at the classroom door, nor is it limited to the barracks or dorm. The Culver Mission commands that we develop students “mind, spirit and body.” Spirit is intentionally placed in the center, recognizing the balance they need in their life. They have a duty to themselves to fulfill their commitments, but also understand the impact of making those commitments can have.

They are also taught the skills to understand and meet their mental, social, moral, spiritual and physical needs. By teaching them to explore spirituality and morality, Culver students come to learn they have a place in the world, and, more importantly, that what they do matters to others, and that they themselves matter to others, in their unit, in their dorm, and within the greater Culver community. When they leave Culver, they are able to navigate the greater global community and make their way in it confidently and maturely.

Global Citizenship

Culver believes that in a diverse community, people overcome their natural inclination to adhere solely to what they know. Culver students live, work, and play in an atmosphere that is naturally diverse. The broad, global perspectives that students, faculty and staff from other countries, cultures and backgrounds bring to academic and residential life only serves to ensure students have a wealth of information to draw on when analyzing and making a decision, and to understand the impact of those decisions on the greater community. And with a residential community where every student plays a key role in the success of that community, the respect for other cultures and traditions is built up, strengthening the experience for everyone.