The earlier in their careers that exceptional students begin to think of themselves as future public leaders who can promote a better society, the greater the likelihood they will become such leaders. – Frank Batten, Sr.
The world our students will inherit and inhabit will be vastly different and even more complex than the one we know today. Even now, leaders in our own community and across the globe face similar issues: the environment, health care, poverty, education and international relations, to name a few.
In 2011, Norfolk Academy established The Center for Civic and Global Leadership not only to further the school’s mission but also to prepare students to become principled civic leaders. The Center was renamed in 2017 to honor Mrs. Jane Batten and her late husband, Mr. Frank Batten, for their encouragement and philanthropic support. Central to that mission is a commitment to public purpose and service — to recognize and help address the challenges members of our community and across the globe now face. A $250,000 grant from the E.E. Ford Foundation , matched by a $250,000 donation from an anonymous benefactor, led to the establishment of the Chesapeake Bay Fellows program in 2011, the first of the Program’s research-based leadership programs. The Program has since grown to include four additional Fellows programs: Global Health; Global Affairs; Literacy; and Engineering, Design, and Innovation (EDI).
The mission of the Batten Civic and Global Leadership Program is to instill in our Fellows a responsibility for understanding and engaging the intricate and systemic challenges facing the global community: the environment; health care; international relations; poverty; and education. This innovative programming provides outstanding, dedicated students opportunities to pursue a four-year, multidisciplinary and experiential course of study grounded in developing actionable solutions to real-world issues. Fellows engage in deep intellectual investigation in a chosen field and participate in leadership programs to build critical skills necessary to effect real change in our world. The Program will reinforce and strengthen Norfolk Academy’s commitment to producing principled, civic-minded leaders for tomorrow. Our leadership curriculum, considered among the best in the nation, routinely brings educators to campus to study our approach.