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The Haverford School

Preparing Boys for

  • success
  • service
  • leadership
  • Life

Core Virtues


Middle schoolers collect data about leaves
Building character and community

The Middle School takes special care to cultivate character within each boy. Fords Focus Days do just that, allowing each student to consider how they can be agents of change, provide leadership in their community, and learn about their roles in the local, national, and global communities. The School builds character by creating opportunities in which boys experience defining moments and challenging conditions, allowing him to learn about himself, about others, and about reacting to challenges with strong leadership and character.


Upper School student leaders visit the lower School to present on ""being a student leader in a positive way"
Upper School reflections

Communication is a cornerstone of the Upper School community time programming. Each week, the entire Upper School gathers in Centennial Hall, often hearing a Reflection from a member of the community. The topics and speakers vary, from a faculty member sharing the reality of being a competitive swimmer to a student reciting his own poetry. No matter the topic, the result is the same: the boys are witnessing a member of their community showcase vulnerability while communicating something that is important to them and our community. That modeling allows them to have the courage to communicate authentically and confidently now and into the future.


Three boys walk and talk under the "preparing boys for life banners"
Empathize and take action

At Haverford, compassion doesn’t just happen; it’s a compound virtue, requiring more than just a passing thought. Instead, we teach the boys to actively work at recognizing someone is having a hard time, offering support and understanding to that person, and then taking time to help them find a solution to their problem. These skills allow the boys to both experience their emotions and take action in their communities in an empathetic and authentic way. 


Darren Hengst instructs two students on Centennial Stage
Rising to the Challenge

Boys at Haverford are urged to have confidence when facing a challenge or a risk.  Darren Hengst, The Grace and Mahlon Buck Chair for the Performing Arts, sees developing confidence at the center of his performing arts education philosophy and for boys’ general growth. “This is how The Haverford School prepares boys for life: there is a challenge, the boys immerse themselves in the situation and become vulnerable, and they use problem-solving skills and empathy to face the challenge.” 


The school podium showing the seal
A reminder on our seal

We use courage to face challenges of all kinds at Haverford. On our seal is the Greek motto eutaxia soizein dokei, which comes from Xenophon’s Anabasis text and has been translated by Haverford’s faculty to “good discipline always saves” or “proper preparations lead to success.” It reminds us of Haverford’s focus: to prepare students with the good habits of mind and spirit that will allow them to overcome what lies before them, both within and beyond the walls of Haverford.


Two third graders discuss a paper mache monster
Creative collaboration

Third grade boys take part in a favorite art activity each year: creating the Lower School Monster. The months-long process starts with each boy imagining a monster on paper and ends with the entire grade collaborating to create a single monster to be displayed in the Lower School. The monster project is the intersection of boys using their imagination, creativity, and collaboration skills to create a permanent fixture of the Lower School building.


Haverford football players jump in celebration before a large crowd
Athletics Leadership Seminar

Upper School boys wanting to be captains of their varsity team are required to take the Athletics Leadership Seminar first. The seminar features speakers and lessons in leadership, team building, and conflict resolution, allowing the boys to go into their senior athletic seasons prepared to lead younger students. Further, topics like racial equity, goal setting, and overcoming challenges support the boys long after their playing days are over. 


Three students, each from different divisions, smile while talking to Tyler Casertano
A strong support system

Students enjoy strong bonds between their fellow Fords, but important student-teacher relationships are what make Haverford the strong community it is. The boys know they can depend on their teachers to support them through challenges as they learn new skills. Younger students look to their older peers as models of this virtue, too. 


Kindergarten and third grade buddies spend time on the tennis courts
Lower School buddies

At The Haverford School, every boy is celebrated for showing up exactly as they are. While each grade spends time in and out of class together, the Lower School puts a special focus on inter-grade friendships to strengthen the bond of the division and the overall School community. Kindergarten and third grade students are paired together as buddies for the entire school year, taking time to play, learn, and do service projects together. By the year’s end, the younger boys have an older student to model themselves after, and the third graders have learned an important lesson in support for someone who is younger than them. 


Fifth grade banner boys pass the honor to the rising fourth graders
Lower School Banner Boys

The Lower School Banner Boys are fifth graders who serve as stewards of leadership for the entire division. Honesty is just one of the four pillars of the Lower School Banner Boy program, but it serves an important purpose in the Lower School, when boys are learning to showcase this virtue in all they do. The boys are taught how to be honest, no matter the difficulty or the perceived downside of doing so, and the Banner Boys help showcase this virtue for their grade and for the younger Lower School boys.


Upper School students greet a Kindergarten student before the Walk of Virtues
A time-honored tradition

On Opening Day, our kindergarten and Sixth Form students take part in a special tradition: they walk hand-in-hand through the Walk of Virtues to the School’s Opening Assembly. The walk isn’t long, but the impact is huge, as it officially welcomes some of our youngest students into the fold of the Haverford School brotherhood and introduces them to the School’s core virtues etched in stone on the walkway.


A large group of students volunteer at Skunk Hollow
Humility in Service

Every student at The Haverford School participates in service learning. Project leaders prioritize opportunities using the five fundamental pillars of The Haverford School’s Service Learning Initiative: ethical behavior, sound decision-making skills, a sense of service to others, the ability to empathize with others, and self-awareness and social reflection. 


A middle school student shakes the Head of Middle School's hand on the way in to school
Initiative in a real-world lab

Sixth formers can gain hands-on experience in world renowned science labs at universities up and down the east coast as part of Haverford’s Advanced Laboratory Research Cooperative. Students conduct research at labs the summer before their senior year, examine the results of that research, and present their findings to peers, their families, and area scientists at the annual Science Research Symposium.


A young boy looks up at two Upper School boys before the Walk of Virtues
Beyond Haverford

Our boys learn that having integrity means they exhibit strong character, and moral leadership, and they have strength to do what is right, even when it is difficult. Boys are taught to showcase integrity in all situations in life, allowing them to be stewards of strong character beyond the walls of Haverford. 


Students view a Holocaust memorial on a field trip
Teaching accountability

The Haverford School has various groups that focus on maintaining a just community. In Upper School, the Honor Council and Character Mentorship Program hold members of our community accountable to the standards we have set and help them achieve those standards, even when they have erred. Justice at Haverford means understanding an error has been made and then supporting someone as they rectify that error. This idea is introduced to students of all ages, and Upper School boys take time to discuss this concept with Middle School students each year, answering questions and reminding them of strong moral values that lead to a just community.


Two students smile at the Rosettes Assembly

Each spring, the Fifth and Sixth Form (juniors and seniors) take part in a special tradition: the Rosettes assembly. This assembly, which takes place each spring, officially passes the mantle of leadership from the graduating seniors to their junior counterparts. Each senior pairs up with a junior to celebrate their leadership and responsibility for the younger students and the Haverford School community. 


An upper school math teacher explains a concept to a student
An exceptional experience

The Haverford School retains over 96% of families year after year, the highest among its peer schools on the Main Line. This retainment underscores the exceptional experience families have at Haverford each year. The experience, created by strong programs and teachers who know each boy, allow students to flourish both in and out of the classroom. 


Eighth grade students return from the Rite of Passage
The Rite of Passage

Each spring, the Form II boys walk 14 miles from the USS New Jersey to Haverford’s campus as an official end to Middle School and the start of Upper School. Less of a competition and more of an act of perseverance as a class, it provides the boys with time to reflect on their time at Haverford, and think about how they will continue their journey throughout the Upper School. 


Students purchase local fruits and veggies at a Puerto Rican market
Authentic interaction

Haverford School boys learn respect for themselves, their communities, and the world through the Global Studies program. Using both travel study and global exchange opportunities, the program develops engagement with, respect for, and an understanding of international cultures. With travel to places like Cambodia, Morocco, Greece, Spain, China, and more, boys are exposed to a vast variety of people, traditions, cultures, and experiences, augmenting the in-classroom curriculum at Haverford. 


Smiling students celebrate their induction into the Cum Laude society
Taking initiative

Boys at Haverford take their studies seriously. The School has several mechanisms in place to support the boys as they go through our rigorous academic program. All three divisions have access to the Enrichment and Learning Center, a space that welcomes students to do anything from study for a big test to develop strategies to overcome classroom challenges. The ELC is staffed by experts who can provide resources, guidance, and strategies to support students on their path to success. 


Second graders on the Walk for Water talk and smile
Walk a mile (or three) in someone else’s shoes

Selflessness is taught through action for others, specifically thinking through the needs of others before our own personal needs and wants. Our second graders learn about selflessness by raising money and performing service activities in partnership with H2O for Life. Last year, the boys walked three miles, while carrying jugs of water, for a fundraiser that benefitted schools needing new wells to improve their access to clean water. 


Alumni celebrate a successful round of golf at the Mayock Scholarship golf outing
Forever Fords

Once a Ford, always a Ford. The Haverford School enjoys an extremely engaged alumni group year round. Alumni share their experience and expertise with the School as members of leadership councils, as coaches of athletic teams, and as resources for students on topics ranging from leadership to entrepreneurship. The alumni presence is strong on campus, allowing students the valuable experience of learning from Fords who have come before them. 


An exuberant tennis player rallies his teammates before a match
From the field to the stage

Students at Haverford have a unique opportunity to take part in all things that interest them, and they are supported and celebrated for doing so. That’s why we see high turn out for all types of activities on campus. The same student who is cheered on for stealing third base is applauded for his role in the spring musical. No matter the venue or activity, you’ll find his teammates and cast mates front row showing their support.


Haverford student collaborate on a model
To both lead and to follow

Whether it is fourth graders collaborating on the design for the roller coaster project, Middle Schoolers teaming up to produce their division newspaper, or the Upper School robotics team considering adjustments to their robots, teamwork is a necessary component of daily life at Haverford. Boys are taught both to lead and to follow, knowing that everyone has different strengths that can provide a valuable contribution to every team, no matter the challenge. 

Three Divisions.

One Vision.

Lower School

A Lower School student smiles while dancing

Pre-K – Grade 5

Middle School

A Middle School boy smiles looking up from his laptop

Grades 6 – 8

Upper School

Two smiling students practice math

Grades 9 – 12

In Their Words


Pole-vaulter and world-renowned pianist

James Gates polevaulting

I came to Haverford in Form II and I was immediately taken into the culture by my classmates. Over time, I’ve learned how to give and take from the community and I feel I’ve made many friends that will last a lifetime. 


Newspaper editor and mathematician

Student Name

Haverford is special because it is academically challenging and pushes you enough out of your comfort zone that you grow as a person, but not so much that you are totally overwhelmed. There is also an aspect of brotherhood between students and connections between teachers and students that I feel is unique to Haverford. 


Stage Crew leader and baseball outfielder


My first year here, I joined stage crew with my friends. I made so many more friends than I thought I would have. Upper Schoolers helped us with our musical, teaching us about stage crew and giving us advice. We'll be able to do it on our own next year, because of what they taught us. 


Nonfiction writer and Lower School Banner Boy

Student at school

At Haverford, we do a lot of cool projects. This year, I built a roller coaster with my class. We had to work together to make it work well, even though we had different ideas about how to do that, we got it to work. 


Award-winning classics writer and tennis player

Student - computer science

I believe that the School is responsible for my growth into the person I am today. I think that I've developed into a deep thinker, a proponent of truth above all else, and an eager and curious student. Each of my classes at Haverford has cultivated these features in different ways.


Soccer player and violinist

Chris standing on a soccer

Teamwork and courage are my favorite Haverford virtues. With teamwork, you can build something bigger if you do it all together. I use teamwork on the soccer field a lot, too. Courage is making sure you step up for friends when they need help.

Interactive Map and Inline Video

Interactive Map Image - add the generated pin points in the footer content of the map

Interactive Map

Here at Haverford

Students come from 90 different zip codes

This is Haverford

Where character and community matter


Ready For School

Ready for School?

Browse the items below to learn how, at Haverford, you will indulge your curiosity, practice perseverance, and achieve new accomplishments. What would you pick to put in your backpack?

Click through the items below to learn more!



Interested in woodworking? Curious about set design? Intrigued by the cello? 



Ready to be challenged? Our educators are experts at teaching boys.


baseball glove

Love a good rivalry? We've been passing the sweater back and forth at Haverford/EA Day since 1889. 



Seeking the bonds of brotherhood? That's what we're all about.

About Us


Fascinated by history? We have a lot of it. The Haverford School dates back to 1884.

Ready for School