The Mission Statement is one of an organization’s most important written documents. A well-written mission statement is used by the organization to evaluate its actions from that point forward. It should, therefore, be written with the greatest care. The story of how the mission statement of Sphere College was developed demonstrates precisely how the College is expected to unfold: by students taking on important tasks and working together creatively and harmoniously to produce results of the highest quality.
Many months ago I wrote a strawman mission statement. I knew little about mission statements, but the one I wrote sufficed for the time being. A few months later the Steering Committee, composed of students, constructed a much longer mission statement. Then I enrolled in a leadership course offered by the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation. In one of the classes non-profit consultant Jim Cummings gave a presentation on developing mission statements, vision statements and plans. I learned a great deal more about the principles of writing mission statements and took what I learned back to the Steering Committee. Then the magic of what we’re doing really began to emerge…
The Steering Committee asked me to take the first version of the Mission Statement to the classes and collect feedback from the other students, which I did. They made excellent suggestions, and with their feedback the Steering Committee then brainstormed to produce a new version of the statement (written primarily by Jonathan Stewart). We worked through it in detail with each person giving their input and listening to each other, tweaking the finer points. When we were all happy with the new version the Committee asked me to take the new version back to the classes for another round of feedback. The students in the classes were delighted with this version, so in the Steering Committee meeting we approved the final version:
“Sphere College provides an environment for each student to discover and pursue their passion and vocation for enrichment of the human experience.”
This statement is elegant, concise and clear, yet leaves open for discussion the meaning of the words in future contexts. The process by which the students of the College developed this statement makes me immensely proud. This is the kind of evidence that has me quite convinced that the College will be successful, and I am honored to be a part of it.