THE PLAN FOR EMMA WILLARD’S THIRD CENTURY
A Bicentennial Call to Action—2010-2014
Honoring its founder’s vision, Emma Willard School proudly fosters in each young woman a love of learning, the habits of an intellectual life, and the character, moral strength, and qualities of leadership to serve and shape her world.
In 1814, pioneer educator Emma Hart Willard revolutionized education by envisioning a world where girls had the same opportunities as boys. In 2014 her school will commemorate two hundred years of her distinctive vision: empowering girls transforms the world. In honor of its unparalleled educational leadership, Emma Willard School will celebrate its trademark legacy of empowerment and innovation. The entire Emma Willard community is called to embrace the opportunities presented to the school as it crosses this historic threshold into its third century.
This Call to Action requires bold, entrepreneurial thinking, technological creativity, discipline, and a commitment to extend the founder’s vision beyond Mount Ida.
In 2002, The Plan For Emma Willard’s Third Century articulated four principles which this Call to Action reaffirms.
A Tradition of Educational Excellence for Girls.
As the first school to provide girls with an education commensurate with the best education available to their male counterparts, Emma Willard’s legacy is unparalleled among American girls’ boarding schools. By adhering to this mission in the twenty-first century, the school will remain a leader in secondary education. Among the other “educational firsts” established by its founder are commitment to diversity, provision for financial aid, the utilization of the school as a laboratory for pedagogical research, the inclusion in the curriculum of a regular program of physical education, and the recruitment of international students.
Emma Hart Willard ensured her graduates’ impact upon the world by equipping them to be the teachers the growing nation required. At every juncture since, the school has educated women to serve and shape their world. This legacy of leadership and service will continue as the school prepares future generations to define the multiple roles and responsibilities of twenty-first-century women.
Emma Willard School is synonymous with academic and intellectual rigor in all aspects of the curriculum. In sustaining the highest academic standards, the school will instill in its students the love of learning, the habits of an intellectual life, and the moral strength and integrity they will need to shape their world.
Over the course of its history, Emma Willard has led the way for other schools in curricular and pedagogical reform. Emma Willard will remain the school to which others turn for leadership, insight, and advice in curricular matters. The school that established the groundbreaking Correlated Curriculum, the progressive elective curriculum of the 1970s, and the path finding work of the Dodge Study must continue to lead twenty-first century curriculum innovations.
Guided by these principles, the school community will meet the challenges of the next century armed with confidence, wisdom, resources and imagination.
The Bicentennial Call to Action
Over the last eighteen months, the school has conducted research, collected data, and developed long-range plans addressing the opportunities and challenges created by the structure of the physical plant, financial practices, staffing levels, and programmatic offerings. This planning has inspired the creation of the following set of goals. The accomplishment of these ambitious goals demands detailed, deadline driven lists of initiatives, many of which are currently underway.
Emma Willard School will be the benchmark for excellence in girls’ education worldwide.
By the time Emma Hart Willard made her first trip to Europe in 1830, her school in Troy was the internationally acknowledged leader in girls’ education.
The Bicentennial Celebration will capture Emma Willard's rich legacy, honor its leadership in girls’ education, and position itself globally as the standard for educational excellence in the twenty-first century. To this end, a bicentennial committee will engage each of the school’s constituencies to plan and execute this commemoration.
The school will craft and project a coherent message to all strategic audiences that advances understanding of its significant achievements and increases its name recognition. Fully engaging and empowering the global network of accomplished and spirited alumnae will be essential in meeting this goal.
Emma Willard School will achieve fiscal sustainability by utilizing mission-driven opportunities, entrepreneurial pursuit of new practices, purposeful enhancement of the historic campus, and long-term financial planning.
From the beginning, Emma Willard deliberately planned the financial future of the school, championed the establishment of an endowment, balanced the income from tuition against aid to needy students, focused on efficiency and marketability in designing the original school building in Troy, and augmented the operational budget through the revenues she earned as a successful textbook author.
In the twenty-first century, the school practices careful stewardship, which will be guided by intentionally designed financial tenets applied to all operations.
Fund raising and endowment growth must be envisioned, but will be coupled with the development of new revenue streams, the disciplined application of operating efficiencies, environmentally conscious practices, and the sophisticated and smart use of technology.
A comprehensive well-researched knowledge base will be the springboard for a re-evaluation of the best use of campus spaces.
Retaining a flexible, experienced board of trustees with new membership that more broadly reflects the diversity of the full community is critical to institutional sustainability.
Emma Willard School will develop and deliver a curriculum responsive to the needs of girls in a rapidly transforming, increasingly diverse world.
In 1814, Emma Hart Willard boldly decided that her students needed instruction in mathematics, geography, science and history to prepare them to be citizens of the new republic.
In the twenty-first century, her school must re-examine the graduation requirements, technological competencies, academic and social skills, ethics, pedagogical strategies, and the core curricular foundation necessary to prepare current and future students to be citizens of the world.
To this end the school will provide enhanced resources for vibrant professional growth, and the faculty, in turn, will assess all current practices and systems to ensure excellence and relevance and will create a comprehensive system for continual, nimble curricular revision.
Emma Willard School will be a dynamic learning community that intentionally fosters the habits of an intellectual life both on Mount Ida and beyond.
In 1814, Emma Willard created not merely a school, but a community where women were life-long learners, where teachers and students were partners in a revolutionary educational enterprise.
In the twenty-first century, the intellectual essence of her community remains, but we must re-imagine her vision through a global lens.
Through broad recruitment, the student body, the faculty and the board of trustees will retain their commitment to fostering a love of learning while reflecting the diversity of background, opinion and belief that are hallmarks of a multi-cultural society. Through creative parent and alumnae programming, the prudent management of current and new resources, expanded internships and faculty development, and the intentional design of a globally representative student community, we will create an academic discourse that promote authentic cross-cultural sharing on campus and throughout the world.
The school will purposefully inspire its students, faculty, trustees and, alumnae to use their educational bounty to serve the global good, capitalizing on the school’s location and its dynamic partnerships.
The faculty and staff form the heart of the learning community and must be competitively compensated.
The Charge to the Emma Willard School Community
The bicentennial class arrives in the fall of 2010. 2014 is upon us. It is time for every member of the Emma Willard community to respond to the opportunities provided by our school’s third century. Emma Hart Willard would expect nothing less.