The Athenian School was founded in 1965 by Dyke Brown, a graduate of Yale Law School, who was then Vice President of the Ford Foundation. Dyke envisioned a school with the goal of Periclean Athens – the full development of each citizen. Intellectual growth, fitness of body and character, commitment to humane values, aesthetic sensitivity, and readiness for adult citizenship and leadership are Athenian’s objectives for each student.
The Athenian School was built on what was then known as the Blackhawk Ranch, at the foot of Mt. Diablo. It was originally a boarding school, grades nine through twelve, creating a 24/7 community of learners in a rural setting. In 1979, the Middle School was added, accepting day students in grades six through eight. The demand for an Athenian education from the local community prompted the School to begin admitting more day students in the 1970s. Today, along with many new facilities and a larger number of day students, Athenian remains a close-knit family of those actively engaged in a thriving learning community.
Far ahead of his time, Dyke realized the importance of service, international understanding, diversity and adventure as integral parts of a strong academic curriculum. Nearly fifty years later, Athenian's ideals have become a model for education in the 21st century.