The DA Graduate: A Mission-Driven Life

Moral. Happy. Productive. Those words are at the heart of Durham Academy’s mission statement — and have been for almost 50 years — because at DA, character matters. More than homework or grades or SAT scores, character is what endures. Our mission to prepare students for moral, happy, productive lives means DA is as committed to developing our students’ moral compass as we are to developing their intellect. Removing any one of the mission statement’s essential, interdependent values would risk toppling the balance, stability and foundation provided by that three-legged stool.

But what does a moral, happy, productive life look like? What do we mean when we use those words? What traits or characteristics are essential to living such a life? This site contains some answers to those questions — Durham Academy’s school-wide definition of good character. It represents our aspirational articulation of the values we hope to infuse in all our students.
 

Moral

What principles drive us to do the right thing?

Happy

What characteristics promote and inspire happiness?

Productive

What qualities create a sense of purpose in life?


The Durham Academy Graduate: A Mission-Driven Life is the product of a yearlong conversation among faculty from all 14 grade levels, with input from alumni, parents, staff and trustees. It is a bold constellation of character traits that drives our daily work and sustains our students long past graduation.
 

“Academic achievement is not an end in itself, but rather a means to our central purpose: the cultivation of virtue.”

Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School