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 written in bronze in the middle of campus. 
Duty, Honor, Truth, and Service.
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. 

At Culver Academies, we believe in Leadership & CharacterLearning to LearnGlobal Citizenship, and Timeless Values.

Leadership & Character 

Culver believes in telling the truth, doing what is right, and considering the needs of others because these are the virtues of character and leadership. We intentionally challenge ourselves every day to practice and live these principles. Culver graduates not only know how to excel but, more importantly, how to apply their moral compass to effect change, to sustain success, and to positively impact the lives of others.

  • Responsibility – Students first develop personal responsibility and then take increasing ownership in running our leadership system
  • Honor – The understanding that integrity is built on the hundreds of choices we make every day
  • Service – A commitment to others by dedicating our personal best, in small and large ways, to the welfare of others

Learning to Learn

Culver believes that we should think for ourselves and understand that our potential is only limited by our resilience in the face of challenges. Culver does not indoctrinate students with answers, but rather poses questions for them to explore. This means that students will learn to construct their own understanding, work together, risk alternatives, amend misconceptions, and persist with questions. In short, students learn how to learn and then continue to hone this skill throughout their lives.

  • Inquiry/Critical Thinking – An environment that fosters curiosity about life’s complexity
  • Collaboration – Working together toward a common goal
  • Resilience – Choosing to use setbacks as an opportunity to learn and grow

Timeless Values

Culver believes a community excels when everyone contributes their personal best. That is why, in the leadership system, in the classroom and in extracurricular pursuits, growth and achievement are a function of one’s honest effort. Students learn that striving for excellence, regardless of outcome, drives both individual and community achievement.

  • Community – Others before self; developing lifelong friendships by supporting one another
  • Integrity – The courage to do what is right even in the face of obstacles
  • Legacy – Becoming part of something larger than oneself

Global Perspectives

Culver believes, that in a diverse community, people overcome their natural inclination to adhere solely to what they know. Living and learning with people from different backgrounds is an essential and mind-broadening experience. That is why Culver students live, work, and play in an atmosphere that is naturally diverse. Our differences strengthen the community and, through shared experiences, we embrace our common humanity.

  • Open-Mindedness – A willingness to challenge one’s own preconceptions and to learn about others’ perspectives
  • Respect – Appreciation of others including their culture, religion, and traditions
  • Engagement – Acting on one’s responsibility to make a difference in the lives of others