“Do Well and Do Good”

The character theme or motto we introduce each school year usually focuses our attention on a narrow range of behaviors or outcomes. Several years ago the focus was on thoughtful and ethical decision making — choosing the “hard right over the easy wrong.”

Another year, the reminder was, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” More recently, “Act Like Champions” was an invocation to be honest competitors and good sports in all of our interactions, but specifically as spectators at Athletics competitions.

It served as a reminder to modulate confidence with humility and to respond to challenge with dignity. That is, after all, the Harvard-Westlake Way. This year’s motto is broader in scope, serving as a guiding principle for all our actions and interactions.

It’s a favorite of President Tom Hudnut’s, a maxim that he has woven into many of his addresses to students and faculty during the past twenty-five years, a five-word invocation that concisely and elegantly encapsulates the essence of our school’s mission statement.

Do well and do good. All of us want to do well—to do well in our schoolwork, to do well in our jobs, to achieve at a high level, to maximize our potential and ability.

We should aspire to excellence in all our endeavors and interactions. But doing well should always be in service to doing good. Do well so that you can do good. Develop your natural talents and leverage your resources so that you can serve others.

Do well by doing good. Enhance your own learning by doing good works, by engaging in meaningful community service projects, by embracing action that serves the common good. In the end, what you do with your knowledge is more important than what you know. Let it be good that you do, and you will do very well.

—Jeanne Huybrechts Head of School