We hope you have been enjoying your summer! Throughout the past year, and even in the midst of COVID, the Chatham Hall Board of Trustees has been engaged in the exciting work of reviewing and updating the School’s mission statement. Setting and articulating the mission of an organization is one of the primary responsibilities of any Board of an independent school or nonprofit organization. We, as a Board, take this responsibility very seriously. Throughout the process we kept in mind three main goals: establishing an accurate representation of what we do here at Chatham Hall; creating a modern, short, concise statement; and distinguishing Chatham Hall from the many girls’ schools across the world.
Chatham Hall is proud to be recognized as one of the exceptional girls’ boarding schools in the Southeast, drawing students from across the country and world. For more than a century we have empowered girls to build lives of their own choosing. Nothing about our mission - what we do - was changed in this update. We simply revised our mission statement to ensure its relevance and strengthen its articulation. We have always looked for and enrolled the girl who embraces natural curiosity, and we have worked hard to facilitate ways and means for her to delve into who she is and who she needs to be in order to live her best life. We are the school that seeks to provide opportunities to explore, take risks, and learn from our failures. We are the school that encourages community members to move beyond their comfort zones and share their passions with each other. For generations we have equipped curious thinkers to lead lives of impact - and we determined that this should be the language of our new mission statement.
Equipping curious thinkers to lead lives of impact.
In just eight words, this mission statement describes the overarching goal of the Board of Trustees, the administration, and our faculty and staff, guaranteeing that the Chatham Hall experience is seen in the context of girls’ entire lives. It embodies the Chatham Hall student of the past, present, and future. The Chatham Hall student is not just anyone - we do not accept every applicant that comes our way - but someone who is curious and intrepid. That mindset may simply emerge with the idea of attending boarding school, or it could already be influencing her academic and extracurricular pursuits. The new mission statement makes clear that we see teaching and learning in all that we do, for students and adults: we encourage each individual’s organic interests, assist them in following or finding new paths, and help them learn what they need to truly thrive. Ultimately, we are the school that illuminates their world. We help them foster and deepen their current and future passions, develop 21st century skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, and now will empower them with practical life skills such as financial literacy and time management that prepare them for the futures of their choosing. All together, this helps our students understand where they can find a place for themselves in this world. Because it is only then that our graduates will be prepared to lead lives of impact and honor in ways both large and small.
Unlike many other schools, in this mission statement we are emphasizing the multi-faceted work that we know must happen at the high school level in order for a teenager to be her best self, the work that Chatham Hall has endeavored to do for decades. In today’s world, how a girls’ school prepares graduates for the future is more complex than simply having strong grades and multiple interests. You have glimpsed our current work in this regard through the early development of Living Well, and there is more for us to do. Essentially, this new mission statement makes sure we commit ourselves to our work knowing our graduates go on to have an impact on their families and communities; local, regional, national, and even global.
We wish to thank Rector Rachel Connell, Chatham Hall’s entire administration, and the dedicated faculty members who contributed to our work and whose insight and expertise were invaluable. The Board is extremely excited by this articulation of our mission, because it expresses the heart of what we must do and why. In the months and years ahead, you will see our commitment to infusing this into our culture. The execution will be seen and felt not only when you visit campus, but also in the Chat and other Chatham Hall communications. But first, we hope you join us in this moment of celebration and continue supporting us in our mission to equip curious thinkers to lead lives of impact!
Sarah Monarchi Longpré '84
Chair, 2020-2021 Chatham Hall Board of Trustees
Alison Carter Cady '91
Chair, 2021-2022 Chatham Hall Board of Trustees
Michelle Thomas Supko '02
Vice Chair, 2021-2022 Chatham Hall Board of Trustees
A girls' boarding and day school in southern Virginia, Chatham Hall prepares girls for college and for productive lives. Our innovative academic program offers advanced courses, global study and travel, as well as project-based learning. We foster the intellect and character of each student and, through our Honor Code, live in a community of trust. Grounded in its Episcopal heritage, the school welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.