Providing a Thorough Grounding in Western Civilization
The Pope Foundation’s new Grantee Profile focuses on Asheville School, the South’s preeminent co-ed boarding and day school:
To appreciate the good that Western civilization has brought to the world, students must first understand it. And what better way to gain understanding than to read, and study, the classics of Western culture — works ranging from Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad to the Old and New testaments to Dante’s Divine Comedy and Shakespeare’sHamlet.
That principle — the conviction that students best learn about history by studying the literature, art, philosophy, and political thought of the time — is the guiding force behind the stellar humanities program at Asheville School.
Nestled in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville School annually serves 275 students representing 25 states and 13 countries. The average class size is 12 students. One-hundred percent of graduates attend four-year colleges.
“There isn’t a single boarding school below the Mason-Dixon line that has these basic qualities: Academically rigorous, relatively small at just under 300 students, co-ed, with a particularly strong emphasis on character development,” said Arch Montgomery, Asheville School’s headmaster.
“It’s fairly easy to beat a kid up into memorizing a bunch of facts for a test,” he added. “A much more challenging issue is to teach kids in such a way that it influences the way they view life.”