Introduction and Goals

St. Lawrence University inspires students and prepares them to be critical and creative thinkers, to find a compass for their lives and careers, and to pursue knowledge and understanding for the benefit of themselves, humanity, and the planet. Through its focus on active engagement with ideas in and beyond the classroom, a St. Lawrence education leads students to make connections that transform lives and communities, from the local to the global.

Drawing on the best of the liberal arts tradition, we provide an education that is personally and intellectually challenging. We push our students to ask deep, even unsettling questions from multiple perspectives and to be responsible for the ways they move through the world. At the same time, we surround them with a supportive community as they engage in complex processes of personal and intellectual discovery. By cultivating an atmosphere that is both intellectually rigorous and attentive to the whole person, we excel at helping students reach their full potential.

From our nationally recognized First-Year Program to our many opportunities for advanced research, St. Lawrence is known as an innovative leader in the liberal arts. The core of our mission is critical inquiry, pursued through the dynamic collaboration of students, faculty, and staff. Our classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and studios are vibrant spaces where dedicated teacher-scholars challenge students to take a direct role in and responsibility for their own education. Our commitment to integrative learning requires students to explore questions, problems, and solutions that cross traditional boundaries between disciplines, subjects of inquiry, and modes of knowledge. Our numerous off-campus study and community-based learning opportunities, whether in the North Country or on the other side of the globe, reflect our belief that the best learning happens when students actively engage with the world in all its diversity and complexity. Our extensive co-curricular activities, residential campus, and engaged and dedicated alumni provide rich opportunities for making personal, intellectual, and professional connections that often last a lifetime.

The opportunity to make connections with others from diverse backgrounds and with different experiences is also essential to the process of preparing students for a life of meaningful work, service, and citizenship. Therefore, St. Lawrence will continue to recruit and retain students, faculty, and staff who represent the diversity of our local, national, and global communities. Similarly, we will continue to build knowledge connections by supporting the innovative scholarly and creative work that remains a crucial foundation of excellent teaching.

This Strategic Map is a vision for the coming decade to help guide us as we build on our tradition of innovation to deepen and multiply the kinds of critical connections that make the liberal arts so transformative. It is an institutional agenda for all of St. Lawrence that will evolve as we work and learn from it. The details will be charted in supporting documents and a range of initiatives in the curriculum, admissions, communications, and facilities. Successful implementation of these and other initiatives will require that we redouble our commitments to sustainability and democratic participation while nurturing in all Laurentians a spirit of collective responsibility for the present and future of the University. Our continued careful financial planning, combined with a new, ambitious fundraising initiative, will help make the map’s vision a reality.

Our Goals:

Over the next decade, St. Lawrence University will

The Promise

Laurentians are proud of all we have collectively accomplished since our founding in 1856 and of the great strides we have made in recent decades. The initiatives in this map will:

  • build on that history;
  • amplify our tradition and our successes; and
  • thrive on the strong connections that already define our community.

It is this foundation and our commitment to expanding our ambitions that will help our students to achieve at the highest levels and make important contributions on campus and around the world.

This Strategic Map serves as a promise to the University community that we will work together with a shared sense of mission to protect St. Lawrence’s future, strengthen its position as a leader in the liberal arts, and deliver on our commitment to a lifelong experience of learning.