Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


Stephens College: Our Mission, Vision and Values  

It has been more than 187 years since Lucy Ann Wales first stood before a classroom of eager young women. Since that day Stephens College has evolved into an institution unlike any other in higher education. Innovative, independent and spirited, Stephens remains inspired by its unwavering dedication to women's undergraduate education, even as it has embraced new opportunities, redefined its distinct advantages and expanded its outreach to leaders of all ages. 

In that spirit, the College began a process in January of 2016 to engage all stakeholders in an inclusive series of workshops to refine the Mission, Vision and Values of the College. These are the same principles that have guided our evolution for decades while provided a more contemporary articulation of what we believe and value. This new articulation was approved by the Board of Trustees in February of 2017. 

We also invite you to learn more about our Strategic Plan which is shaped by our Mission, Vision and Values. We also offer a printable Mission pdf and printable Strategic Plan pdf



Learn. Grow. Lead. 


Inspired by its tradition as an undergraduate women’s college, Stephens College engages lifelong learners in an educational experience characterized by intellectual rigor, creative expression, and professional practice, supported by accomplished faculty, talented staff, and engaged alumnae/alumni. Graduates of Stephens College are educated in the liberal arts, informed by diverse perspectives, and committed to lives of leadership, integrity and service. 


Stephens College is committed to its Ten Ideals as core values that inspire and enrich our lives:

Respect for our own dignity and the dignity of others, embodied in a sense of social justice

Courage and persistence

Independence, autonomy and self-sufficiency

Support for others through the willingness to take and give criticism, acceptance and love

Sensitivity to the uniqueness and fragility of the natural world of which we are part

Responsibility for the consequences of our choices

Belief in our changing selves and in our right to change

Creativity in the spiritual and aesthetic dimensions of life

Intelligence that is informed and cultivated, critical yet tolerant

Leadership which empowers others

Mission (2010-2017) 

“Historically committed to meeting the changing needs of women, Stephens College prepares students to become leaders and innovators in a rapidly changing world. Stephens engages lifelong learners in an educational experience characterized by intellectual rigor, creative expression and professional practice, in an environment supported by accomplished faculty and dedicated alumnae. Graduates of Stephens are educated in the liberal arts, professionally prepared and inspired by our tradition of the Ten Ideals as core values that enrich women’s lives.” — Adopted November 2010

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