80 years before the start of the series, Beacon Academy was founded in the Kingdom of Vale following the end of the Great War, in order to train Huntsmen and Huntresses to slay the Creatures of Grimm.
In the lead-up to the 40th biennial Vytal Festival, a celebration of the peace that followed the Great War, students from the other 3 Huntsman academies around the world converged on Vale to participate and were welcomed into Beacon. However, following the Grimm invasion of the city orchestrated by Cinder Fall, the school was destroyed and became heavily infested with Grimm in "End of the Beginning".
Students with the aspiration to become Huntsmen, whose duty is to keep the peace within the world, strive to attend Beacon.
Beacon Academy is a residential/boarding-type school, with its students residing in dormitories on the campus. The school seems to provide all living facilities, including hygiene, food, and laundry. However, students are not restricted to the campus outside lessons, and frequently spend their weekends in Vale.
In order to be accepted into Beacon, students typically go to combat schools, such as Signal Academy, in order to prepare for the Academy's rigorous entrance exam. Some candidates, like Ruby Rose, may be invited to the school after showing exceptional skill. However, attending previous combat schools does not seem to be a prerequisite, as some entrants are talented enough to pass the exam without them (such as Blake Belladonna). Students are generally admitted at around age 17, although Ruby was one exception, being admitted at age 15.
In the lead-up to the Vytal Festival, Beacon also participates in an exchange program with the academies of the other three kingdoms of Atlas (Atlas Academy), Vacuo (Shade Academy), and Mistral (Haven Academy). Exchange students may participate in some activities, such as sparring matches, and attend events such as the Beacon Dance.
Beacon has a uniform that students may wear. The males wear black suits lined with gold, accompanied by a blue vest and a white shirt with a red tie. The females wear long stockings as an optional component, a red plaid skirt, and a brown jacket with a tan vest and white shirt with a red ribbon tied at the collar.
Students are given the freedom to customize their attire, as Ruby also wears her hood with her uniform. The dress code does not seem to be upheld very strictly, as students are often seen in casual attire during classes, assemblies, and field trips. Students tend to avoid wearing their uniforms during combat practice.
After being accepted into Beacon, new students have to go through an initiation, after which they are placed into teams.
Students attend lectures, given by staff members such as Peter Port, on various topics intended to prepare them for their jobs, such as the different kinds of monsters they may encounter.
Practical exercises appear to be a significant part of the courses; of these, some are held in the Emerald Forest. Other out-of-campus activities include field trips to locations such as Forever Fall.
In "The Badge and The Burden, Pt.2", Weiss Schnee also fights a Boarbatusk in Port's Grimm Studies class. In addition, the curriculum includes sparring matches that pit students' skills against each other in a controlled environment.
Students are also sent on missions as part of their time at the academy. First-year students are generally limited to lower-risk missions, such as accompanying detectives into the city, and must be accompanied by a professional Huntsman or Huntress on their first mission. Upperclassmen are known to go on higher-risk missions.
Beacon lies along the east edge of the city of Vale, and has a wide river that runs through part of it. Airships are used to transport new students to the academy.
A port is seen at the bottom of the cliffs next to Beacon Academy, implying that naval transportation is also possible.
Beacon's boundaries appear to extend rather far, including the large Emerald Forest and some surrounding terrain, such as the Beacon Cliff. The academy also holds field trips in areas such as the Forever Fall forest.
Beacon is situated just before an impressive cliff's edge that overlooks the city across the sound. At the top edge of the cliffside are several large, circular aerial docking bays, where airships and Bullheads can dock and allow their passengers to disembark. At the base of the cliffs, a docking bay is also available for water-going surface vessels, and a path from there leads upwards to the top of the cliff.
After arrival, new Huntsmen and Huntress cadets are deposited on a long, wide avenue leading up to what appears to be the main academy buildings and their large, impressive main doorway, which opens up to a large amphitheater surrounded by a double ring of colonnades bisected by the main avenue with the outer ring rising high over the main entrance to the academy itself. The avenue is marked with trees and flag-draped light-poles, as well as a number of impressive aqueduct-like features and archways.
In front of the entrance to the main amphitheater is a large statue and fountain of a Huntsman and Huntress standing atop a rock, beneath which a Beowolf cowers. There's also a large circular pond feature surrounded by a pathway and a garden of red trees. The main avenue is also referred to as the courtyard.
The most prominent part of the academy buildings is a large tower. The tower is surmounted by a number of green spheres or lights (possibly the beacon after which the academy was named), as well as an intricate clockwork mechanism consisting of many interlocking cogs and gears. Situated immediately below this is Ozpin's office, which sits high above the clouds and affords an impressive view of the surrounding area.
Cross Continental Transmit SystemEdit
- Main article: Cross Continental Transmit System
Forming the base of Beacon Tower, the CCT allows for seamless communication between locations within the other kingdoms outside of Vale. It is very tall, with an elevator in place to take visitors to a level of their choosing.
The interior of the communications room has several video terminals where a holographic AI operator will patch users to the location where they wish to send their messages.
Beacon Academy StatueEdit
The campus of Beacon Academy includes a large statue featuring two figures, one a male and the other a younger-looking female, standing on a rock outcropping. They are both dressed in a robe with hoods over their heads.
The male has a sword in his right hand, raised in a seemingly triumphant gesture. The younger female has a double-edged battle-ax in her left hand and looks off to the side into the distance. Below the two figures is a Beowolf looking in the same direction as the male figure.
The assembly area takes the form of a glass-domed amphitheater with raised bleachers arranged in a circle around a circular stage that has a tall, ornate (possibly wooden) backdrop with blue lights. There is also a large, open area in front of the stage where students can stand.
As well as being used for meetings of the student body, the assembly area can be used for dueling practice, with the raised stage serving as the fighting area, as seen in "Jaunedice" and "Extracurricular". The lighting in this area can be carefully controlled, making it impossible to see the rest of the area, thus giving duelists the illusion of being entirely on their own.
This also appears to be the location from which missions are assigned to students. The missions are displayed three at a time on numerous screens, listing the type of mission, location, and mission start time, among other extra details. Teams assign themselves to missions by selecting one and then entering their team name.
Beacon Academy has at least one lecture hall not unlike those found in universities. In "The Badge and The Burden", a lecture hall with (apparently) antique drawings of the various known species of Grimm is shown.
This hall has sufficient space for practical demonstrations in front of the students' desks: The front of the lecture area may be used for combat training as seen in "The Badge and The Burden, Pt.2". In "Jaunedice, Pt.2", one of the classes takes place in a lecture hall rigged for a history lesson; the Remnant world, map overlaid by a complex pattern of notes linked with strings, is displayed on the wall behind the lecturer, Bartholomew Oobleck.
All the dorms at Beacon appear to be co-ed dorms, with males and females sleeping in the same room. This allows all members of a team share the same living area, regardless of differing genders. The students note that these rooms are somewhat cramped. However, more organized teams generally find that there is sufficient room to meet all of their needs.
The doors to the dorm rooms are secured using an electronic lock, which can be disengaged using a student's Scroll. It is possible to get locked out if the door closes and a student does not have their Scroll with them.
In "Jaunedice, Pt.2 ", the blocks containing the dorms are shown to be located in separate buildings some distance from the main academy buildings. Students can be seen running through the Academy Gardens on the way to classes in "The Badge and The Burden".
The Academy includes a large, formal dining room running down the length of a cloister-like hall. The dining room features four long tables running the length of the hall with benches to either side and walking areas located in between. Students are able to sit not only with their teams, but other groups.
Like all parts of the academy buildings, the dining hall is somewhat gothic in appearance. The walls are marked with the academy's crossed-ax logo.
In "Forever Fall, Pt.2", it is established that students are allowed to eat in their dormitories.
The library is a repository of books and other sources of archived information within the Academy. It is generally meant to be a quiet place for students to read and study, though students often use the area as a gathering place, playing board games and socializing instead.
It can also make transcontinental calls to areas outside of the kingdom of Vale, similar to the CCT. The library also has access to several holographic computer terminals, which can be freely used by the students.
There is also a ballroom that is used in the Beacon Dance. The ballroom also doubles as a living area that new students may sleep in until they are assigned proper quarters, as seen in "The Shining Beacon, Pt.2".
A unisex locker room with washroom facilities is also present. After the initiation, to store weapons and extra armor, each student is assigned a rocket-propelled locker that can be sent to a custom location based on a six-digit code.
Beacon Academy uses the Emerald Forest as the location for its initiation. The forest is filled with dangerous wildlife. Students are catapulted into the forest from Beacon Cliff, on purpose-built launch pads emblazoned with the academy's insignia.
Vytal Festival FairgroundsEdit
During the Vytal Festival, a large fairgrounds consisting of many temporary buildings and tents are set up at the Beacon campus, where visitors from all the kingdoms can congregate and intermingle. There are shops and stalls set up to get food, one of which is run by the Shopkeep, as well as tables and chairs for people to sit.
The fairgrounds are surrounded by a lightly wooded area, but it is not known where it is situated in relation to other Beacon buildings.
- Main article: Beacon Vault
Located deep beneath Beacon Academy tower and accessible by an elevator, the Vault is where Amber, the former Fall Maiden, was kept on life support before she was killed by Cinder Fall. The Vault appears to be a very closely guarded secret. Ozpin and his allies bring Pyrrha Nikos down here when they ask her to assume the mantle of the Fall Maiden.
- Ozpin - Headmaster
- Glynda Goodwitch - Combat Instructor
- Peter Port - Grimm Studies
- Bartholomew Oobleck - History
- Peach - Unknown
- In "Dance Dance Infiltration", it is revealed that Beacon's Wi-Fi password is "b3acon#".