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Invitation to Visioning Forum

President Valerie Smith sent the following message to the community on Aug. 29, 2016:

Dear Friends,

I would like to share with you some exciting work that began during the summer.  With help from students, faculty, staff, and alumni, we have begun a visioning exercise that will help us create campus spaces that align with student needs, interests, and activities.

This visioning exercise provides us with an opportunity to examine the student experience holistically and articulate a clear vision for how best to support our students’ engagement and activities on campus.  Through this exercise, we will begin to establish priorities for future construction and renovation projects, some of which will be funded through the upcoming comprehensive campaign. We will also explore how to advance some of the recommendations found in the Self-Study Action Committee Report (Self-Study Action Committee Report and Implementation).

The objectives for the visioning project include the following:

1.     To understand the current student experience at Swarthmore;

2.     To envision the future student experience at Swarthmore within the context of broader trends in liberal arts education;

3.     To identify opportunities to improve the experience, including an analysis of relevant spaces and services; and

4.     To achieve our goals through a participatory process that engages students, faculty, staff, and alumni and is consistent with the culture and values of Swarthmore College.

Over the next several months, we will invite members of the College community to respond to these objectives through interviews, observations, surveys, and workshops. 

The College has engaged Brightspot Strategies, a leading consulting firm, to facilitate this work.  (   Representatives from Brightspot will host the following visioning forums for members of the campus community:

  • Visioning Forum for Students on Tuesday, Aug. 30 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  in Science Center 101 (Dinner will be served)
  • Visioning Forum for Faculty, Staff, and Students on Wednesday, Aug. 31 from 12:00 p.m.  to 1:30 p.m. in the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg Hall (Lunch will be served)

Due to seating restrictions, we ask that you RSVP by emailing Mynetta Edwards at  Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition, we will host a day-long Visioning workshop on October 17th; stay tuned for further information. We anticipate that the visioning process will be completed by the end of the fall semester.

Let me take this opportunity to thank students and colleagues who participated in the work over the summer.  I look forward to our work together as we develop campus priorities that will enhance the experience of future generations of Swarthmore students.


Valerie A. Smith