Since 1894, Shipley has been dedicated to educational excellence, love of learning, and compassionate participation in the world. Our graduates leave Shipley uniquely prepared for college and for life.
Great institutions challenge themselves to look inward and outward to assess the ongoing relevance of and commitment to their mission as stated, and to ask the question – what is our purpose and how can we best fulfill that purpose today and into the future?
In 2013 the Board of Trustees began the important process of posing the questions and exploring the opportunities for Shipley’s continued success for the next generation. On the heels of the successful implementation of Shipley’s 2004 strategic plan, the Board initiated this important conversation about Shipley’s future. In late 2014, a formal Strategic Planning Committee was formed and an inclusive and transparent process began.
We are incredibly fortunate to approach the future from a position of strength – educationally, financially, and as a strong and purposeful community. The world has changed significantly since our last strategic plan (adopted June 2004) and we are grateful to our predecessors for creating such a robust plan and for their fortitude in overseeing its successful implementation. As we open the new Learning and Research Center and complete the quad on the Upper Campus, we can see what the Board of Trustees envisioned in 2004 when they committed to preparing a master facilities plan and long range financial plan to make the vision a reality.
Now we turn to new questions and challenges. In the time since this process began in November 2014, every member of the Shipley community has had the opportunity to voice their hopes and dreams for Shipley’s future. As a community we have reflected on many critical questions, including:
• What does success mean for our students, for our community, and for the institution?
- What are the characteristics that uniquely define a Shipley education in and out of the classroom?
- How can we ensure that we are educating our students to prepare them for success in a world that is unpredictable and unknowable?
- How can we ensure that our students know how to both achieve their goals and create balance in their lives?
- How can we best steward the institution so that it will continue to thrive in an uncertain and ever changing landscape?
- And how do we cultivate a culture of pride in and commitment to Shipley among all of our constituents?
Our planning process has been comprehensive and wide ranging – from individual interviews with thought leaders within and outside of our community, to focus groups, input sessions, and a Strategic Planning conference last spring. Never has Shipley’s unwavering commitment to our mission of educational excellence, and developing a love of learning and compassionate participation in the world felt more relevant or more important. We find ongoing resonance in our motto: Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing. The conversations have both affirmed our commitment to our mission and challenged us to explore new and transformational ways to advance our program and meet our mission.
We remain convinced that the heart of the Shipley experience is rooted in relationships – we are a community of learners where colleagues know their students as learners and as people. The skills students develop as a result of Shipley’s extraordinary commitment not only to educational excellence, but also to social, emotional, and ethical development (SEED) are critical to success in an increasingly complex, global, and technologically advanced world. In college, and in life, Shipley graduates find that beyond the unparalleled academic preparation, they have learned self-advocacy, resilience, courage, creativity, and confidence. They have learned to know themselves and others so they are able to not only choose what is best, but to choose what is right. They have experienced leadership at every stage of their Shipley experience – whether in the classroom or in the science lab, on the field, on the stage, in the art room. They have learned about themselves and the world through their service to others – within and outside of the Shipley community. And it is these skills that ultimately prepare Shipley students to be the people they will become – each one creating and following their individual path to success – inspired and prepared to live a life of purpose – to grow intellectually, act compassionately, and lead courageously.
If the true measure of a Shipley education is being prepared to live a life of purpose what does that require of us as a School in 2016? And in 2026? In our conversations as a community, we have continued to circle back to three critical areas:Educational Excellence
– so our students will be preparedExcellence in Community Engagement
– so all members of our community of learners will be proud of, engaged with and committed to our unique missionExcellence in Institutional Stewardship
– so Shipley will continue to thrive in the next generation.
We hope the community will be inspired to meet the challenge of simultaneously remaining rooted in our mission and seeking ways to transform teaching and learning to ensure we are meeting our mission in 2026.