President's Pen Winter 2017

ss_pp_winter2017.jpgA strategic planning process, as much as a process to envision and revitalize, is a moment for self-analysis and reflection about what we do well. It is an opportunity to review and recommit to our vision and values; a moment to identify what distinguishes us as an institution; and a time to set higher goals for achievement in those areas of distinction.

The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2021 charts a course for the next five years that anticipates a much longer-range future. It does so confident in what Mount Holyoke represents—a place committed to women and gender equality, academic excellence, liberal education, diversity, leadership, global understanding, and environmental awareness and sustainability—and with renewed energy to make salient (and attractive to current and future students, faculty, and staff) the experience that is the College. This means striving to be yet more exceptional in those areas we claim as such. It also means new commitments.

Priorities in the Plan for 2021 include leading with distinction and global excellence. This encompasses not only our being outstanding and imaginative in our scholarship, teaching, and learning, but also in our commitment to creating new programs and enhanced and visible opportunities for leadership and career preparation. This incites us to engage in new ways to make Mount Holyoke the source and venue of choice for academics and for intensive leadership development programs, with both a local and a global focus. In many ways, alumnae hold up a mirror that helps us to see how the College shaped your success, how that might inform our current endeavors, and how we might sustain and continue to build our relationships and partnerships with you. It also means strategic investment in our programs—new and existing—and in our signature academic centers. To fulfill this educational agenda effectively, Mount Holyoke continues to need your help and continued engagement in every way.

The College, in close partnership with the Alumnae Association, is a community of almost 40,000: a community of lifelong learners who work and think together across differences. To ensure that this continues to be a hallmark of the Mount Holyoke experience, a central priority of the Plan for 2021 is to invest in shaping and sustaining an increasingly diverse community of students, faculty, and staff who strive to understand the world—and to analyze and solve problems—in an environment of mutual respect in which all can thrive and contribute to the flourishing of others. The new community center, along with other dedicated spaces across campus, reimagined learning spaces, and digital applications to support networking and opportunities for alumnae engagement, will provide venues and resources that facilitate and enhance such interactions. To do this well, and to invest in the many exciting ideas developed by our faculty, staff, and students, we need first and foremost to be good stewards of our resources and to engage in strategic allocation and reallocation of these to our highest priorities. And we need to ensure that you remain our partners in this work, and that we celebrate what we have done—and must always do—together to make Mount Holyoke a better—the best—place to develop the minds and aspirations of future generations.