McCain-Ravenel Center

McCain-Ravenel Center

Established in 2018, the McCain-Ravenel Center for Intellectual and Moral Courage coordinates and supports signature initiatives at Episcopal, which focus on experiential learning, externships, global programs, ethical leadership, outdoor education, service learning, and civic engagement. The center staff also help faculty and staff connect students with the resources of Washington and design programs that advance the mission of the School: to prepare young adults with intellectual and moral courage.

The center’s goal is to prepare students for life outside Episcopal and to help them embody the Portrait of a Graduate. It is named for the late Sen. John McCain '54 and his EHS mentor, teacher William B. Ravenel, a World War II veteran who inspired McCain to pursue a life of honor and service. The senator once said: “Mr. Ravenel changed my life. He gave me some moorings and a compass. He used his classroom as not only a way to teach English but also to teach values and standards and morals.

The speakers and opportunities set up by the center take students outside of Episcopal to further their education and provide them real-world experience made possible by the School’s proximity to Washington, D.C. 

The center's mission revolves around:

List of 4 items.

  • Programming focused on critical issues facing society today,

    including state and national elections, AI, civil discourse, national security, and ethical leadership. The academic schedule sets aside five days each year for schoolwide McCain-Ravenel events that tap the resources of metro Washington, D.C.
  • Deepening connections with the real world of work.

      To explore a career passion or life interest, students can complete an afternoon externship in the junior year with a professional or expert at a company, organization, or public agency. The final leg of the EHS journey is the Senior Externship, a month-long, daily immersion to prepare you to thrive in college and beyond. 
  • Inspiring conversations

      The School has brought more than 200 experts and professionals to campus since 2018 — scientists, scholars, artists, political leaders, and entrepreneurs.  
  • Interaction with alumni

      All the EHS signature programs tap Episcopal’s network of more than 5,000 alumni to talk about leadership, career fields, and ethics. Among recent guests: political, business, and digital strategist Tyler Brown '99, former CIA officer Kristen Edwards Marquardt ’97, and renowned oncologist Dr. John Marshall ’79.  
“Were William Bee Ravenel the only person I remembered from high school, I would credit those days as among the best of my life.” -Sen. John McCain ’54
    • Sen. John McCain '54 speaks at a town hall at EHS in 2001.

    • Sen. John McCain '54 greets students in Laird Dining Hall after giving a town hall at EHS in 2001.