Lesley's Fourth President Declares the University's Vision for the Next 100 Years
Lesley University's strength is its people, students, alumni, and employees who seek to make a positive difference in the world. They are people who seek a path beyond just personal enrichment, but to play a role in strengthening communities around the world through careers in education, human services, the environment and the arts.The next century of Lesley University seeks to draw upon this rich history, with a motivation to make new history as real challenges in society call for the talents, skills and dedication of Lesley graduates.In 2008, Lesley University President Joseph B. Moore undertook a process with students, faculty, staff and community partners to pose the question of the university's role in the dilemmas that face our schools, organizations and communities. The resulting strategic plan serves as a framework for Lesley University's future, and defines the values that will shape the work of Lesley in preparing women and men with the knowledge, skills, understanding and ethical judgment to be catalysts who shape a more just, humane and sustainable world.
Democracy, as the fundamental purpose of an education is to provide opportunity for all to participate in the cultural, economic and political life of the nation and the world.
Inquiry, as we remain dedicated to active, transformative teaching and learning, artistic creativity, critical inquiry and individual development across the lifespan. The commitment to inquiry mandates that Lesley identifies and engages with new artistic, professional, and educational challenges, while extending educational opportunities that serve local and global communities.
Equity, a commitment to honor, value and respect all individuals, their diverse communities, and their unique backgrounds. But also to prepare men and women to serve as practitioners that meet the needs of diverse populations towards social justice for all.
Community, because learning is a collective endeavor, and it is the power of individuals working together that creates positive change.
The Art Institute of Boston merged with Lesley University in 1998, bringing with it a rich tradition of preparing tomorrow's artists and presenting cultural programs to the community at large. Over the past decade, AIB's students and faculty have joined the University's community of learners to the enrichment of all.In 2006, Lesley began planning towards an important step in reaping the full potential of AIB within the university, the physical relocation of the school from Kenmore Square in Boston to Porter Square in Cambridge. When complete, AIB students can more easily access avail the full offerings of the University, and the myriad of programs that utilize the arts from the Master's in Education in Creative Arts in Learning to the field of Expressive Therapies and other programs will be enriched by AIB's focus on the teaching and creating of art, and its mission to exhibit, create, and share art with the larger community.Just as important, the Art Institute of Boston seeks to be a cultural resource for the City of Cambridge which shares our belief that the arts are an important component in building and sustaining a strong sense of community. The plan calls for a major art gallery, an arts library and arts programming throughout the year that will create a cultural destination in Porter Square, strengthen the economic vitality of an important business district, and enhance the surrounding community through the energy of a student body and faculty dedicated to the teaching, creating and sharing of art.Lesley initiated an open dialogue with residents of the surrounding neighborhoods, seeking their counsel on a physical plan for a new facility that ensured the successful integration of AIB into their community. Plans center on the site of the former North Prospect Church, acquired by Lesley in 2006 and adjacent to University Hall, and continue to involve a community-wide discussion as we work with neighbors and elected officials towards completion.
In 2008, Lesley University entered a partnership with the Episcopal Divinity School towards a shared campus in the Brattle Street neighborhood in Cambridge among the most unique historic college campuses in the world.The neighborhood itself played a critical role in the nation's history the Longfellow House next door was General George Washington's command center during the Revolutionary War, and the Continental Army was founded on nearby Cambridge Common. On campus, the Hodges House was a significant stop on the Underground Railroad.Lesley University and the Episcopal Divinity school work together to share resources on this campus, a ten minute walk to Lesley's original Quad Campus and accessible by the Harvard Red Line stop on the MBTA. Through planned phases, Lesley will eventually occupy seven buildings, share a library with EDS in an eighth, and maintain the pastoral lawns amid the gothic residential and academic halls.Lesley undergraduate students already occupy Lawrence Hall, and beginning in the summer of 2009 graduate program faculty and staff will move into additional properties on Phillips Place. As the partnership continues, the Brattle Street campus will evolve into a second center of undergraduate life with dining facilities, the library undergraduate services and an academic center for programs in counseling and psychology.The move strengthened the finances of the Episcopal Divinity School, and also carries the potential for programmatic opportunities for theology students to enhance their education through complementary study in counseling and human services fields.
President Moore's Centennial Address
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