Norfolk Academy

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Norfolk Academy
Norfolk academy logo bw.jpg
1585 Wesleyan Drive


United States
TypePrivate, Day, College-prep
Mottoου πολλα αλλα πολυ (Greek)
(Not quantity, but quality)
Established1728; 293 years ago (1728)
HeadmasterDennis Manning
Enrollment1200 students in 1–12
Campus70 acres (28 ha)
Color(s)Orange, Blue, White
Athletics conferenceTCIS
RivalsSt. Christopher's School, Cape Henry Collegiate School

Norfolk Academy (NA) is an independent co-educational day school in Norfolk, Virginia. Chartered in 1728, it is the oldest private school in Virginia and the eighth oldest school in the United States. In 1966, Norfolk Academy merged with Country Day School for Girls in Virginia Beach, Virginia to create the current co-educational school. It serves students in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, and Suffolk.

In sports, NA competes in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools (TCIS) as well as in the Virginia Preparatory League (males) and the League of Independent Schools (females).


Norfolk Academy
Norfolk Academy 1840.jpg
Norfolk Academy, 420 Bank Street, c.1840
Norfolk Academy is located in Virginia
Norfolk Academy
Norfolk Academy is located in the United States
Norfolk Academy
Location420 Bank St., Norfolk, Virginia
Coordinates36°51′6″N 76°17′7″W / 36.85167°N 76.28528°W / 36.85167; -76.28528
Area0 acres (0 ha)
Built1840 (1840)
ArchitectThomas U. Walter
NRHP reference No.69000343[1]
VLR No.122-0018
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 12, 1969
Designated VLRSeptember 9, 1969[2]

The original Norfolk Academy building was designed by architect Thomas Ustick Walter, who subsequently fourth designed the dome of the U.S. Capitol. The Greek-revival building, featured on the school's current seal (at right), was modeled after the Temple of Thesus in Athens. Subsequently, the building was a military hospital during the American Civil War, a Red Cross building in World War I and from 1920-1970 as the City of Norfolk's Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, and from 1973 as the City of Norfolk's Chamber of Commerce.[3][4]

Originally accessible via downtown Norfolk's Bank Street, the building now sits at the intersection of East Charlotte Street and St. Paul's Boulevard. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.[1]

Academics and student life

Students are required to research, compose, and deliver to the student body and faculty an original persuasive speech as a graduation requirement. Public Speaking skills are integrated into the curriculum from the 1st grade on.

Norfolk Academy's German program was recognized in 2007 as the number one German program in the country among high schools. The College Board recognition for the school and German program has been earned, as the Report notes, through the performance of students on the AP German Language Exam. The ongoing exchange with the Copernicus Gymnasium, Löningen (Germany) has been in place since 1973, and is the longest-running high school student exchange program between the two countries.


Norfolk Academy's athletic program features 74 interscholastic competition for grades 7 – 12. 95 percent of Middle School students and at least 85 percent of Upper School students play one sport or more. Almost one-quarter of students in grades 9-12 play three sports. Teams compete in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools, the League of Independent Schools, and the Virginia Prep League.

Recently[when?] a new stadium with a multi-purpose turf field and wider track and a new turf field hockey and girls' lacrosse field were added. Other features include an Athletic Pavilion complex with fitness center containing cardio-vascular and weight-training equipment and a multi-use field house that has over 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2), the Burroughs and Conrad gymnasiums, the newly-renovated Vaughan Aquatic Center, the Metro Information Services Tennis Complex, the Watson Baseball Field, the Rixey Lacrosse Field, and nine additional playing fields.


In the summer, Norfolk Academy hosts Breakthrough at Norfolk Academy, an affiliate of Breakthrough Collaborative, as well as summer camps for lower and middle school students.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved March 19, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Chamber puts 170-year-old Norfolk building up for sale". The Virginian Pilot, 2008. The building, based on the Greek Temple of Thesus in Athens, was designed by Thomas Ustick Walter, the man who later designed the dome of the U.S. Capitol. Along with its use as a school, the building served as a military hospital during the Civil War, and a Red Cross building in World War I. Around 1920, Norfolk used it for roughly 50 years as the city's Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
  4. ^ Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (July 1969). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Norfolk Academy" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. and Accompanying photo
  5. ^ Weingardt, Richard, "Engineering Legends: Great American Civil Engineers : 32 Profiles of Inspiration and Achievement", 2005, Pages 124–125
  6. ^ "Glenn Youngkin '85 Helps Create Nonprofit Aimed At Supporting Unemployed Workers". Norfolk Academy News. Norfolk Academy. June 30, 2020. Retrieved February 20, 2021.

Coordinates: 36°52′27.58″N 76°11′34.14″W / 36.8743278°N 76.1928167°W / 36.8743278; -76.1928167