Mission Statements

I am a fourth-year Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech, and had the opportunity to spend Summer 2018 at Stanford University doing internship. It was interesting for me to compare these two universities in terms of Mission Statement.


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Location: Blacksburg, VA, USA

Type: Public College

Mission Statement: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) is a public land-grant university serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life.


Stanford University

Location: Stanford, CA, USA

Type: Private Research University

Mission Statement: To support and advance the teaching, learning and research activities of the University through promotion of a safe and healthy campus environment by providing and coordinating programs and services that minimize safety, health, and environmental and regulatory risks to the Stanford University community in a manner consistent with responsible fiscal and environmental stewardship.


Author’s Opinion: What stands out to me in the mission statement of Virginia Tech (VT) is the emphasis on the improvement of an individual as well as the whole community. In a strong connection with the motto of VT, That I May Serve, the mission statement of this university illustrates the importance of community service with focus on teaching, learning and research. The mission statement of Stanford University (SU) is more centralized over the  growth of this university. It gives a detailed list of practical priorities which matter the most for SU community, again with focus on teaching, learning and research activities.

The major difference between the two mission statements might stem from the fact that Virginia Tech is a public school while Stanford University is a private research university. From my point of view, this affects the attitude of their administration to invest more on the development of the commonwealth or the university community.