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Saint Mary’s reevaluates mission statement

| Thursday, November 8, 2018

The future is here, and Saint Mary’s is rising to meet it. Working in conjunction with student body president and senior Madeleine Corcoran and vice president and senior Kathy Ogden, the administration is reviewing and rethinking the College’s mission statement. The project will examine what the mission statement does well, what it is missing and how accurately it portrays Saint Mary’s, Corcoran said in an email.

“We are currently in the revision process, which means we are collecting feedback from students, faculty, staff, Sisters of the Holy Cross, administration, alumnae and parents regarding our current mission statement … and what they would like to see in a future mission statement,” Corcoran said.

According to the Saint Mary’s website, the current mission statement reads: “Founded by the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1844, Saint Mary’s College promotes a life of intellectual vigor, aesthetic appreciation, religious sensibility and social responsibility. Saint Mary’s is a Catholic, residential women’s college in the liberal arts tradition offering undergraduate degrees and co-educational graduate programs.

“A pioneer in the education of women, the College is an academic community where students develop their talents and prepare to make a difference in the world. All members of the College remain faithful to this mission and continually assess their response to the complex needs and challenges of the contemporary world.”

The Mission Council is comprised of Saint Mary’s faculty, staff and student representatives who assess if the goals and values of the College are both known and demonstrated in the community. As an advisor to the vice president for mission, the group helps implement the College’s mission statement.

“Last year, there was a slight revision [approved] to add the ‘coeducational graduate programs,’ which reflects the addition of our graduate programs as well as the admission of men into those programs,” she said. “I was blessed to be a part of that process as the co-chair last year.”

Corcoran said this project is an effort to keep the mission statement loyal to the character of Saint Mary’s while adjusting to changes in the community.

“It is important to continually evaluate the mission statement in order for it to be both accurate and a true reflection of the College,” she said. “The mission statement helps direct all major decisions and initiatives of the College, so it is really important for it to be current.”

The process has been long and thorough, Corcoran said, with many moving parts involved in the review.

“We are currently in a data collection phase,” she said. “This means many groups are giving their input, which is then collected and evaluated. Following this [phase], the strongest components will be brought to the writing process.”

The group expects a very positive reaction overall, Corcoran said.

“Students seem engaged and interested about how [the new mission statement] plays a role in the College’s future,” she said.

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About Maeve Filbin

Maeve is a senior studying political science and economics at Saint Mary's, as well as Journalism, Ethics and Democracy at Notre Dame. She serves as an Assistant Managing Editor of The Observer, and thinks everyone should support student journalism.

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