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The Four Pillars

NHS Banner.  National Honor Society logo with flame on left of image with text National Honor Society stacked on top of text Adrian High School Chapter

Four Pillars of the National Honor Society

The four pillars are the basis of which the NHS was founded upon and the characteristics that each member strives to emulate each day.  NHS members are expected to be the servant leaders of their schools and communites and without these attributes, cannot be the leaders they have been called to be.  These four pillars are:


“Scholarship denotes a commitment to learning. A student is willing to spend hours in reading and study, knowing the lasting benefits of a cultivated mind. We should continue to learn even when formal education has ended, for human education ends only with the end of life. Knowledge is one great element in life, which leads to the highest success, and it can be acquired in only one way—through diligence and effort. Learning furnishes the lamp by which we read the past, the torch guiding us to understand the present, and the light that illuminates the future. Candidates have the charge to continually expand their world through the opportunities inherent in scholarship.” One of the great modern day leaders of our time and perpetual learner, Nelson Mandela, once said, “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.  But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”


“Service can be established in the routine of the day’s work where many opportunities arise to help others both at school and in the community. A willingness to work for the benefit of those in need, without monetary compensation or public recognition, is the quality we seek in our membership and promote for the entire student body. We are committed to volunteering our time and talents to the creation of a better tomorrow.”  Ghandi put it eloquently when he said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”


 “Leadership should exert a wholesome influence on the school. In taking initiative in the classroom and in school activities, the real leader strives to train and aid others to reach their common goals of success. The price of leadership is sacrifice—the willingness to yield one’s personal interests for the interests of others. A leader has self‑confidence and will go forward when others hesitate. No matter what power and resources may exist in a school, community, or nation, they are ineffectual without the guidance of a wise leader. Leadership is always needed; thus, to lead is a meaningful and substantive charge to each of our members.”  I think a leader was best described by Max DePree when he stated, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.  The last is to say thank you.  In between, the leader is a servant.”


“Character is the force within the individual that distinguishes each person from others. It creates for each of us our individuality, our goodness. It is that without which no one can respect oneself, nor hope to attain the respect of others. It is this force of character that guides one through life and, once developed, grows steadily within. Character is achieved and not received. It is the product of constant thought and action, the daily striving to make the right choice. The problem of character is the problem of self‑control. We must be in reality what we wish to appear to others—to be rather than to seem. By demonstrating such qualities as respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship, we may hope to prove by example that we value character.” This may be best stated by John Wooden when he said, “Be more concerened with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what other’s think you are.”