The goals of a Porter-Gaud education go beyond promoting academic excellence and career success. We want to develop good people – honorable individuals who are compassionate, independent, open to friendship and committed to helping others. These are the character traits of social growth, a process that includes classrooms and playing fields, as well as the off-campus community.
Lockers in academic buildings have no locks. And backpacks or other items left on a campus bench will still be there when you return hours later – unless, of course, someone has already brought them to you. Honor is a historic strength, taught with the help of our spiritual programs, Honor Council, and the high level of personal respect faculty members, staff and students show toward each other.
Our three schools organize dozens of clubs and study groups, more than 50 sports teams, and many other activities designed to bring students together to pursue common interests. Grab a quick game on a chess table in the foyer, try out for a solo in a Founder’s Day concert, or cheer yourself hoarse at a varsity basketball game – opportunities are everywhere for cultivating lifelong friendships, building school spirit and having fun with others.
For generations, community service and compassion for others have been important building blocks of a Porter-Gaud education. Our students are eager to give back, and virtually every student participates in service programs to help others enjoy life a little more. For example, Upper School students can participate in efforts like Head Start, our Christmas Toy Drive, or the Special Olympics. Volunteers help each other, too, by hosting new students or tutoring their classmates. These service programs are part of a process that builds individual character and school solidarity.
Concern for others extends beyond our campus thanks to a wide range of community programs organized by our Director of Community Services. At a service fair held each fall, students can volunteer to build Habitat for Humanity houses, serve meals at a homeless shelter, set up charity events like Race for the Cure, give blood at the Red Cross, or talk to troubled youngsters as trained Teen-Line counselors. No matter what the activity, students rub elbows with people whose lives and challenges are far different from their own, and they enjoy the kind of satisfaction that only comes from giving of yourself and helping others.