As the fall semester comes to a close, I am excited to share with you our progress on one initiative we began this past August, writing a new mission statement.

As you know, we have in the last year or two recommitted ourselves to the key elements of our historic mission to provide access and opportunity to a diverse community of students. That is a core commitment and will remain so. But it was clear in conversations with the senior leadership team, the Board of Trustees, and the campus community, that it is time for us to change the articulation of our mission. So early this fall we sent out a survey to find out what you liked about the current mission statement, what you wanted changed, and what was critical to include in the new draft. We also held a town hall forum. We got excellent input.

This feedback led to the following summary list of elements to be considered in crafting the new statement:

  1. The new statement should be more clear and concise
  2. It should be more Suffolk specific
  3. It should include or imply the following: inclusion/diversity, develops student potential/empowers students to be successful, experiential learning, public impact/civic engagement, educational excellence

Based on this input, we worked on a new draft and shared it with the Board of Trustees at its meeting last week. I have asked the Board to provide feedback between now and the end of this month.

Here is our new mission statement….perhaps, as I want to hear from you and our trustees before we take a final version to the Board in February for final review and approval:

At Suffolk University we are driven by the power of education, inclusion, and engagement to change lives and positively impact communities. We provide students with transformational learning opportunities that begin in the center of Boston, reach across the globe, and lead to extraordinary outcomes for our graduates. 

Personally, I believe this is a powerful statement that makes clear who we are, what we do, and that affirms our core commitments. However, I also think that it is critical that we all believe in our mission and recognize ourselves in the statement we make to the world. So I welcome your reactions. Feel free to stop me in the hall, send me an email, post a comment on this blog, or share your thoughts with me over a plate of appetizers at our holiday party tomorrow afternoon.

Happy holidays,


Marisa J. Kelly