From Planning to Action: Fulfilling the Promise of the Haverford 2030 Strategic Plan
With the plan formally adopted, Haverford pivots toward beginning the work, and the comprehensive fundraising campaign that will fund it.
It took three years, dozens of brainstorming sessions, and voluminous input from Haverford community members worldwide. And at last week's meeting of the College Board of Managers, Better Learning, Broader Impact – Haverford 2030 became the official strategic vision for the College through the remainder of the decade.
Highlights of the plan, now formally adopted, include new resources in support of financial aid, the academic program, and the College endowment; significant programming around ethical leadership and engagement; greater integration of career planning with students' arc of learning; enhanced connectivity to co-curricular opportunities through an 'Internships For All' program; and improvements to campus facilities such as residence halls. Its priorities are organized around the themes of 'Aspire', 'Connect', and 'Transform' – fittingly, 'ACT'.
President Wendy Raymond led the first campus planning brainstorm on a chilly day in December, 2019 – a memorable Dining Center session that was driven outdoors by a mischievous fire alarm. She says that the plan has grown to be "broadly inclusive" and believes that the process has benefited from the extended timeline caused by COVID. "We now have fresh insights about Haverford and the future of the liberal arts gleaned from our challenges and innovations along the way—a global pandemic, a student strike for racial justice, an economy and labor market under new stresses, tests of our nation’s democratic processes, and more."
With Haverford 2030 in place, the College now mobilizes for its implementation, with realization of the plan’s various initiatives anticipated to take the next 7 to 8 years. "Some initiatives are already in advanced planning stages," notes Raymond, "and others will need further development. Some can be supported with current resources, but many will require new funding." So how does Haverford prepare for a fundraising campaign to realize the plan's dramatic and inspiring vision?
An internal readiness assessment was conducted last fall and identified ways that the College can best prepare for a campaign, beginning with staffing levels and deployment. In early 2023, prospective supporters will be interviewed about their reactions to the Strategic Plan’s priorities and needs.
Such an approach is similar to how 'Lives That Speak', Haverford's most recent campaign in support of its previous strategic plan—the Plan for Haverford 2020—unfolded. With an original goal of $225 million (which was exceeded by 20%), that campaign supported the Plan for 2020’s major infrastructure improvements at the campus core (such as VCAM, the new Lutnick Library, the Kim and Tritton residence halls, the Sharpless renovation, and the Jaharis Recital Hall); expanded curricular offerings with 16 new tenure faculty lines across academic divisions plus new programs such as Chesick Scholars and the Haverford Innovation Program; and brought in more than $40 million in new endowed scholarships in support of financial aid.
That's a tough act to follow. But Edward Roberts, Haverford's new assistant vice president for philanthropy and campaign director, says he's ready.
“I’m eager to contribute strategic vision towards reaching record-setting fundraising goals while creating programs that further enhance the College’s inclusive and diverse community, all in service of our students," he said while unpacking boxes in his Founders Hall office. "My day begins and ends with a commitment to the student experience. Lunchtime too: the students."
With more than two decades in the advancement field, most recently as the director of development for the Divisions of Biological Sciences and Mathematical & Physical Sciences in the College of Letters and Science at the University of California, Berkeley, Roberts will oversee all aspects of Haverford’s philanthropic work while planning the campaign.
He will do so in partnership with VPIA Serjoie, who says he is "delighted" to welcome Roberts to Haverford College. "Edward's role entails a broad array of responsibilities and his deep knowledge of advancement, keen understanding of higher education, and commitment to the liberal arts make him the right leader to serve in this capacity.” Serjoie points to Roberts's long track record of fundraising success at institutions such as the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Northwestern University, Yale University, and the Taft School as evidence that he's prepared to take on this vital role.
"We are confident that the work outlined in the plan will move us closer to realizing Haverford’s promise," adds President Raymond. "By centering our enduring values while positioning our outstanding students, faculty, and staff—with support and partnership from alums, Board, Corporation, families, and friends— we will bring fresh vitality to the Haverford experience." She points to the plan's name as an apt and worthy encapsulation of the road ahead. "The plan translates the work of our mission and values through bold expression, creating 'better learning for broader impact'."
In some ways, the path is clear: Haverford knows where it wants to go and why. But both Roberts and Serjoie note that the challenging – yet rewarding – work of fundraising must be as successful as the envisioning process that led to the Board's enthusiastic approval of Haverford 2030.
"Our next campaign presents a fantastic chance for us all," concludes VPIA Serjoie. "And by 'all', I mean everyone – alumni, parents and families, board members and other leadership volunteers, faculty and staff, students, friends and benefactors – to step forward with our philanthropy in support of the incomparable values-based liberal arts education that is synonymous with Haverford College.”
For President Raymond, one thing seems certain. "If the broad and enthusiastic participation in drafting the plan is any guide," she says, "support for the campaign to fund it will take Haverford to the next level in terms of what we can do for our students and the mark we can make on the world. I couldn't be more excited!"