Skip Navigation


Skip Side Navigation

Flourishing & Virtue

What is Flourishing and Virtue?

The concept of flourishing is ancient in its origins and contemporary in its relevance. To flourish means to live well, to thrive. The Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing is founded on the belief that humans flourish when they develop to their fullest potential as rational and moral creatures living in healthy communities.

Virtues are character traits humans need in order to flourish individually and as members of a community. Some virtues, like perseverance and self-regulation, are crucial for any worthwhile personal achievement. Others, like honesty and open-mindedness, are especially important for collaborative endeavors, such as friendship or scholarship.

OU Virtues

We focus on nine key character traits that reflect the moral identity and the educational mission of OU and its community. We believe these virtues are crucial for academic success and for the flourishing of individuals and communities.

Our focal virtues fall into three main categories.

  • Intellectual Virtues enable the pursuit of truth, wisdom and understanding. In this category we focus on open-mindedness, love of learning, and intellectual humility.
  • Executive Virtues are important for individual achievements of any kind, including the development of other virtues. We focus on the virtues of self-regulation, perseverance, and honesty.
  • Civic Virtues equip individuals to flourish in community with others. In this domain we focus on civility, fairness, and compassion.

Learn more about the nine virtues by clicking below.