A mission statement of a university or college should be a reflection of the institution today and what it aspires to be in the future. This week, I contemplated the mission statements of my two Alma mater, Emory University and the University of Georgia.
Emory University is a private liberal arts college located in the city of Decatur, GA. For those unfamiliar with Georgia geography, Decatur is located roughly ten minutes outside of downtown Atlanta. “Emory University’s mission is to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity.”
The University of Georgia is one of the two land grand universities in Georgia. The university is located in Athens, Georgia around 70 miles due east of Atlanta. The motto of the University of Georgia is, “to teach, to serve, and to inquire into the nature of things”.
When you I started to wade through each of the mission statement pages, the different approaches towards education that a liberal arts school and a land grant institution take were evident.
Emory’s mission statement makes a point of stressing a global approach towards the influence of the university. The university also emphasizes the importance of a well rounded education, essentially describing and defending the liberal arts approach. They make a point to say that their university offers select degrees and programs that will fit into the liberal arts view of education.
The University of Georgia, by contrast, expresses a more local focus towards bettering state and then bettering the world. They state that they are committed to serving the needs of Georgia’s citizens. The university also talks about their wide range of programs boasting that their offerings are the widest in the state.
While Emory and UGA take different approaches towards their primary educational focus, they are united in their goal to prepare students for success and leadership in their future careers as evidenced by both mission statements. And, while they may emphasize different areas of focus, as a student at each institution, I saw firsthand Emory serve the local community and UGA serve the international community.
Full mission statements of each school can be found at:
Emory Univeristy: http://catalog.college.emory.edu/about/mission.html
University of Georgia: http://www.uga.edu/profile/mission/