A Pre-K to Grade 12 Independent Quaker Day School Serving the Greater Durham-Chapel Hill Area

All Community Events

For more than half a century, Carolina Friends School has not only fostered a vibrant and inclusive learning community, but also fostered traditions — times to celebrate our School family, times to connect with the wider world, and times to examine and reflect on our shared values.

There are many events throughout the year for current families to connect as well as events specifically geared toward our alumni, but there are also certain times of year that are held special within our School community that have become annual traditions. Check our calendar and news for updated information on these and other events.

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

Students, staff, families, alumni, trustees, and friends of CFS enjoy a walk or run with family and friends on Thanksgiving morning. Friends gather at the soccer fields around 9:30 am and walk the nature trail or run the 5K cross country trail.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an important yearly event for CFS, deeply aligned with our mission — the pursuit of truth, respect for all, peaceful resolution of conflict, simplicity, the call to service. In 1962 Carolina Friends School was founded as one of the very first integrated schools in the segregated South, and we continue to be driven by our commitment to diversity and inclusivity.

We keep Dr. King's message in our minds and hearts throughout the year, and we come together to celebrate his birthday and remember his dream every January. The entire community is invited to join us in the Gym from 10:30 am each MLK Day.

In recent years, we have also offered service opportunities through Book Harvest’s Martin Luther King, Jr. book drive as well as the Habitat for Humanity of Orange County’s Interfaith Build.

Grandparents and Family Friends Day

One of our favorite days on campus happens each spring, when we welcome grandparents and other invited family friends to campus to spend time in our students’ classrooms and with their teachers. Each unit plans its own ways to celebrate the day, but fun, food, and fellowship are always a part of the day!

Beloved Community Dinner

The CFS Diversity and Inclusivity Committee hosts events that are open to the wider community. Since 2014, they have planned an annual evening of Beloved Community dinner and dialog on issues ranging from race in prep schools to the local impact of the international refugee crisis.


A CFS graduation is truly a community-wide event. Graduation begins with the graduating class walking down the aisle through a "tunnel of love" created by applauding and high-fiving staff and trustees, and is centered around an hour of reflective silence and occasional sharing by community members during Meeting for Worship with Attention to Graduation.

There is no dignitary who visits the campus to give a speech to the graduates. There is no speech prepared and delivered by a valedictorian. And the presentation of diplomas is usually not accompanied by a handshake, but with hugs, laughter, and sometimes tears shared by the graduate, the Head of School, and the Head of Upper School.

teacher directing choir on bleachers in gym singing