Annandale has long prided itself on having both more Rhodes Scholars and more Medal of Honor winners amongst its alumni than any other preparatory school in the country. An Annandale education is challenging: the Academy's experienced faculty, many of whom are published scholars in their fields, invite cadets to become part of a community of learners, a community of inquiry, which encourages and supports the life of the mind.
John Marshall Glenarm, in making his extraordinary gifts to the school at the end of the nineteenth century, was careful to point out that "academy," however common a term it might have become for military schools, in fact indicated the roots of western education in that small group of students who gathered around Socrates in Athens--among them that Aristocles (known to us, as Glenarm observed, by his wrestling nickname "Plato") who would go on to found a school in the grove of "academe." To be an "academy," Glenarm insisted, meant that Annandale would be part of, would be involved in, a tradition of learning, something deeper and vaster than a few classrooms beside his beloved lake. His patriotic interests and contemporary theories of education may have swayed him toward the Spartan in endowing a military school: but Athens had the place of honor in the old architect's heart.
The Academy requires for graduation four years of high school English, four years of high school mathematics, four years of high school social studies (up to one year of Religous Studies and Philosophy may be substituted), three years of high school science, three years of high school foreign language, and one year of high school fine art. Some departments offer courses for the Sixth and Fifth Classes which can be substituted for high school courses. All cadets take a Military Science course each semester, though, as students matriculate in different classes, there is no requirement for a fixed number of years in the subject.