Yet in order for any organization to thrive it must find a way of describing itself that encompasses these many different experiences and perspectives. It must create a shared language among its constituencies, so that its vision and purpose become clear to all. As our Board has articulated, our mission at Chatham Hall is to equip curious thinkers to lead lives of impact and we know that this is the foundation on which each of our students will build a life of their own. We know that this sets us apart from other schools, and keeps our focus on the work being done in the present, right here on campus. We know that this is how we want others to come to know Chatham Hall.
Last summer, we commissioned nonprofit branding experts Mission Minded to work with us on discovering more about ourselves and how we talk about Chatham Hall. For several months Mission Minded carried out an exhaustive discovery process in which they examined our website and printed materials and those of peer schools; conducted a multi-stakeholder survey and analyzed more than 400 sets of survey results; interviewed parents, students, young alumnae, faculty members, and Trustees; and completed ten hours with a focus group comprised of faculty members, alumnae, and administrators. What they found has been compelling.
We uncovered not only how we as a community describe ourselves - as intentional, courageous, compassionate, dynamic, and honorable - but were able to express these concepts in short phrases describing how we work to live our values here at Chatham Hall. We choose courage over comfort, we ignite the light for others, we appreciate the journey, we do the right thing (even when it’s the hardest choice), and we strive to be our best selves. We were able to take emotions shared by many and translate them into how girls feel here at Chatham Hall, that they are unstoppable on every step of their journeys. Finally, we were able to use all of this scaffolding to construct and articulate the promise we make to our students, that at Chatham Hall we will help you illuminate your world.
In the coming weeks and months you will see these actionable values come to life in new and exciting ways. Building upon our mission statement, they will direct us. We will embrace them as we ensure everyone knows that Chatham Hall is a school for those who wish to expand their worlds and make an impact. It will bring to life our belief in the potential of our students and all young women, because:
At Chatham Hall, we believe that when a young woman steps beyond the boundary of her own comfort zone, she realizes the true power of her potential.
Every day across campus, she’ll discover her individual passions, learn to balance joy with challenge, gratitude with ambition, and to champion others as she begins to weave together informed perspectives that will make up her worldview.
With endless opportunities illuminated before her, she will feel conﬁdent taking the ﬁrst steps toward a life that is all her own.
We hope this will call to mind the many experiences in which you or your Chatham Hall student truly stepped beyond the boundary of a comfort zone, realized the power of potential, and used everything discovered at Chatham Hall to take the first steps of your unique, authentic life. Truly, we believe in the boundless potential of not just our students but all of our community members here at Chatham Hall.
Along with this inspiring new way of describing ourselves, we have been working on an updated way of visually representing ourselves. As you can see below, this work has culminated with a logo that expands on the previous shield and seal, and ensures that the ways we represent ourselves in both words and imagery is complementary. This does not mean that our previous shield and seal are no longer representative of the School, but rather that they are the basis on which this expanded logo was built.
As you might imagine, we have a few surprises in store for the community as we return to campus and kick off the 2021-2022 school year, beginning with a new website to debut at the end of the summer and some in-depth features, in the fall issue of the Chat, exploring this and other work being carried out at the School. And, of course, we are enthusiastically counting down the days until our students are back and our campus is once again buzzing!
Rachel Avery Connell