Norfolk Academy

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Norfolk Academy
Norfolk academy logo bw.jpg
1585 Wesleyan Drive
Norfolk, Virginia
United States
Type Private, Day, College-prep
Motto ου πολλα αλλα πολυ (Greek)
(Not quantity, but quality)
Established 1728
Headmaster Dennis Manning
Grades 112
Gender Co-educational
Enrollment 1200 students in 1–12
Campus 70 acres (28 ha)
Color(s) Orange, Blue, White
Athletics conference TCIS
Mascot Bulldog

Norfolk Academy (NA) is an independent co-educational day school in Norfolk, Virginia. Chartered in 1728, it is the oldest secondary school in Virginia and the eighth oldest in the United States.[citation needed] 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 US
Norfolk Academy
Location 420 Bank St., Norfolk, Virginia
Coordinates 36°51′6″N 76°17′7″W / 36.85167°N 76.28528°W / 36.85167; -76.28528
Area 0 acres (0 ha)
Built 1840 (1840)
NRHP reference # 69000343[1]
VLR # 122-0018
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 12, 1969
Designated VLR September 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 would serve as 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]

The building is now Virginia's leading family theatre, The Hurrah Players

Academics and Student Life[edit]

The Academy attempts to maintain high standards, both academic and ethical, for students and faculty. Norfolk Academy students are also known for their matriculation to top colleges and universities.[5]

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.[citation needed]

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. This exchange is the longest-running high school student exchange program between the two countries.[citation needed]

The school offers a significant array of international educational experiences, and is a member of the School Year Abroad program and the World Leading Schools Association. Formal school partnerships and exchange programs include: Copernicus Gymnasium in Loningen, Germany (since 1973); St. Dominique in Paris, France; Colego Europeo de Matdrid, St. George's in Buenos Aires; and Beijing No. 101 in China.[citation needed][6]

Norfolk Academy's Honor Code requires everyone in the school community to pledge not to lie, cheat, or steal. At the end of each graded assignment, students write the statement "I pledge that I have acted honorably in the completion of this assignment" and then sign their name. Honor infractions in for seventh through twelfth grades are handled by the Middle and Upper Schools' respective honor councils, which consist of elected students and is supervised by faculty.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed] Recently 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.[citation needed]


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[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  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. ^ Matriculation Info
  6. ^
  7. ^ Weingardt, Richard, "Engineering Legends: Great American Civil Engineers : 32 Profiles of Inspiration and Achievement", 2005, Pages 124–125
  8. ^ Special to the New York Times, comp. "Capt. Miles Dead; Wrote Navy Song." The New York Times Oct 8, 1956. Print.

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